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“You never know if this could be the rep!” FSU takes practice field showing no signs of taking foot off the gas

The youngsters shine in practice on Tuesday with their eyes set on significant playing time this weekend.

Mike Norvell never takes a moment off — and expects the same out of his players and staff.

On a drizzly Tuesday morning and an FCS opponent coming to town this weekend, human nature would take the foot off the gas.

Not under the head man’s watch.

Florida State took the practice field for the first time since taking down the Hurricanes. Mike Norvell mentioned on Monday that his team “needs to get better,” they took strides to do that this morning. The offense came blistering out of the gates with a well-executed drive during the first 11-on-11 period. They penetrated deep into the red zone before Mike Norvell called for a Ryan Fitzgerald kick to cap off the drive. The defense responded later in the day, using their favorite adjustment, bringing pressure to cause incompletions and inefficiencies. After practice, Mike Norvell seemed pleased with the work put forth.

“Guys came out, they had energy, they had purpose...preparing and getting better at all things that might show up...I thought our guys’ mindset was good as they hit the field today.”

On a rainy Tuesday, three themes stood out above the rest.

Brock Glenn

Saturday, age will be more than just a number. The Senior Day emotions will be in full effect as Mike Norvell’s first group graduates. Conversely, with an FCS opponent, it could be time for the young guys to get significant action. Multiple players shed their black scout team jerseys in action for whites to gain new practice opportunities in hopes of seeing the field. Brock Glenn rose to the challenge Tuesday morning. The freshman quarterback turned heads early in the season, but a thumb injury stunted some of his progress. After returning and getting medically cleared a couple of weeks ago, this seemed to be Brock’s best practice since then. He made quick decisions, accurate throws, and showed off the wheels on a read option. The Memphis native did all this while facing the first-team defense in 11 on 11 and 7 on 7. During the former, Brock evaded Jared Verse’s quick pass rush and escaped the pocket for a 15-yard run, crediting the claims he is quicker than everyone thinks. After the defensive linemen left, Glenn made back-to-back corner throws to each side of the field. His arm strength impressed the coaching staff as he hit Kyle Morlock before Shyheim Brown could break up the pass and then Kentron Poitier for a toe-tap grab. After practice, Mike Norvell gave praise to the young signal caller.

“Brock’s worked at a high level...I see growth; he’s a very talented young man, he’s got great ability, and obviously, he’s got to be ready for whenever his number is called.

With a new quarterback needed for next year, Brock Glenn may have an early audition in front of the Florida State faithful on Saturday evening.

Running Game

Saturday afternoon produced a mixed bag against the Hurricanes in the run game. Florida State only averaged 1.8 yards a carry, but was Trey Benson’s pinky toe away from two long yardage scores. Alex Atkins and Mike Norvell touched on the need for improvement during their Monday availability, so I was interested in their response.

They did.

During the first 11 on 11 period, Rodney Hill made his longest practice run in a month. A JB-led pin and pull gave the freshman out in front as he scampered for 20 yards. Johnny Wilson sealed his corner and sprung the run into the second level, drawing praises for the coaching staff. The quarterback run game produced dividends that did not come through last week against Miami. JT held the ball out to Rodney Hill until the last second, until he pulled it and sprinted into the open field, resulting in back-to-back 20+ yard run plays. Mike Norvell, after practice, touched on his young running backs and where they are later on in the season.

“We’ve got a great group of running backs. I’ve been pleased with the growth...Rodney Hill’s got a great future in front of him...I think you’re seeing that progression.”

The run game touches every single player on the field. Unsurprisingly, when FSU went flat for moments against Miami, the run game followed. Florida State will need to keep its two-dimensional nature to itself as post-season play gets closer. It starts by getting this phase back on track.

James Rosenberry

In one of the more lighthearted moments on Saturday, Mike Norvell pulled back the curtain on the unsung hero of this FSU team.

“James Rosenberry, somebody I want to shout out. Obviously, he’s been outstanding in his operation with his snaps...I’m glad nobody talks about him. You don’t want people to talk about your long snapper, but he does an outstanding job as well.”

Tuesday, Mike Norvell continued praising the long snapper, calling him out and saying he is “not just one of the best deep snappers in college football, but one of the best deep snappers out there.”

If the head coach continues to talk about him, I should, too. Rosenberry defines unselfishness and what it means to be part of a team. The long snapper never gets any love, but he has been instrumental in the improvements of Ryan Fitzgerald and Alex Mastromanno this year. The Maryland transfer will get his due appreciation on senior day this weekend. After practice, he spoke with the media and gave an incredible description of the basics and technique of long snapping, which I encourage everyone who wants to learn more about the game to listen to.

That is all from practice today; Florida State retakes the field tomorrow for situational Wednesday. Mike Norvell and player availabilities can be seen below.

Head Coach Mike Norvell

DL Braden Fiske

LS James Rosenberry JR.

Video courtesy Warchant.com