Update, 12:32 PM
Mike Norvell spoke to the media today to kick off FSU’s first game week of the year. Shortly before the presser, Florida State released their depth chart for the opener, which you can see here. (You can also see our reactions here.) Norvell mentioned that Hamsah Nasirildeen will not be available week one. Because of that, Travis Jay could see a lot of action. Norvell called Jay a “star of camp.”
There is always the chance a coach or player tests positive in the coming days. If that happens, Norvell and his staff are prepared for anything. He said, “We’ve got a plan B, C, D. You always go into a season with a plan B. At every position we have our thoughts if something happens. That is something every program is having to do during this time.”
Norvell had his up and down’s with Warren Thompson this fall, but he’s ready to see him produce. Thompson is listed as one of the Seminoles’ starting WR’s for week one. On Thompson, Norvell said, “I love Warren. The type of young man he is, the heart that he has. This is an unprecedented time in the things we have had to go through. We were able to work through that process.”
Update, 12:50 PM
Kenny Dillingham was the first of our coordinators to take the podium today. Dillingham stressed just how excited he is to reach this point. “It’s been awesome to get back on the field with the guys. I just love to coach.”
On Saturday, Florida State had a mock game running through just about every situation possible. Dillingham was happy with his offense’s approach and mindset going into Doak Campbell on Saturday. He said, “I thought it went really well. Basically every situation that can happen in a football game we are simulating. I like where we’re at. I think our guys are working hard and are in a good mindset.”
FSU has a couple new offensive starters on the depth chart this year. On Warren Thompson, Dillingham said, “I think he’s done a good job with ball skills. He’s an explosive play maker. He’s done a good job in all areas.” He also praised offensive lineman Maurice Smith for the athleticism he has at his size.
Dillingham believes that FSU’s players are fully buying into their plan heading into the season. “Kids are smart. Fans, media, they don’t understand how smart kids are. Kids see when you have a plan. When we actually teach it and explain the plan, our players see that we believe it.”
Update, 12:57 PM
Adam Fuller was next on the podium today as he broke down some of the depth chart today and talked preparation for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech doesn’t have a set starter at QB so far, so Fuller and his staff have had to prep for each of their guys. He said, “Usually when you put a plan together, who is at quarterback is a big part of the plan. I try not to get too caught up in it all. You have gotta have the ability to adapt and adjust as things change.”
FSU has one of the deepest and most talented defensive tackle groups in the country. With that much depth, it gives Florida State some roster and scheme flexibility. On the depth at DT, he said, “It’s huge. It’s such a high-effort, contact position. Obviously the fifth guy might not be as good as the first guy at everything, but he is going to bring different things to the table. To have the six guys that we have, it’s huge.”
Sophomore Renardo Green was listed as starter today. Fuller had high praise for the defensive back today. On Green, Fuller said, “Renardo has done a great job. From spring to now, he has grown as much as anyone on our defense. We have put him at a lot of positions. He is going to be on the field a lot Saturday, we have high expectations for him.”
With everything going on in the world right now, it can be easy to lose focus on football. Fuller isn’t worried about that with Norvell as the head coach. “Mike is the best there is in the business as far as focus. With what’s happening out there right now, we need to do a good job always... there is no better leader in this country than Mike Norvell.”
Update, 1:10 PM
Special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach John Papuchis rounded out the day at the podium. Special teams is the one phase where FSU doesn’t have any clear cut starters yet. Every position has the “OR” listed between multiple names. On those on going position battles, he said, “Us being a new staff and not having the full time to evaluate. I didn’t fell like there was a need to rush or put anything out there early.”
Travis Jay is one of the multiple guys listed at kick and punt return, but he’s the only one listed on both. Papuchis said there will likely be more than one guy returning kicks this season, but he praised Jay’s natural ability with the ball. He also called Jay a ‘natural catcher of the football.’
The special teams units has multiple guys from both sides of the ball listed on the depth chart. For Papuchis, he likes having that flexibility and wants to showcase his best guys. “We’re always going to try and get the best guys out there. We have that flexibility, where depending on the reps they are getting on offense and defense, we can change things up.”
Believe it or not, it’s here — Georgia Tech game week.
When we last left Florida State Seminoles football, the team had just wrapped up a week of practice in which James Blackman was named the starting quarterback by Mike Norvell and where the team officially shifted into game prep mode.
Blackman, so far, has been the only starter officially named. While there isn’t too much confusion who will be seeing the field (a more accurate way of measuring contribution under this staff, who will rotate players in constantly, especially under current conditions) there are a few positions of note that haven’t had concrete answers — namely on special teams, from returners to kicking specialists.
While we’re not exactly expecting that information today, we are set to hear from Norvell as well as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kenny Dillingham, defensive coordinator Adam Fuller and special teams coordinator John Papuchis. Norvell is set to speak at 12, Dillingham for 12:20, Fuller at 12:35 and Papuchis at 12:50.
You can follow along in the comments and on Twitter — and you can also tune in and watch via stream on Seminoles.com and on all Florida State social accounts.