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Back to Work: Notes, observations from Florida State’s first practice after statement win

No rest for the weary as the Seminoles were back in full pads to get ready for Southern Miss in a short week

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

After a major win in prime time against the LSU Tigers saw them jump to No. 4 in the AP Poll, Florida State returned to the practice field on Tuesday as the squad ramped up preparations for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.

The Seminoles were back in full pads in what was a “lighter practice,” according to head coach Mike Norvell. The team showcased intensity throughout the morning with the knowledge that due to the Sunday slotting, the squad was down a day of regular preparation.

Norvell called the short week an “opportunity” and said the staff put in place a plan for this week during the offseason because of the quick turnaround. As always, a few players and themes stood out above the rest.


The mood at practice from the coaching staff was of a group of people who thought FSU lost Sunday night. After a program-altering win less than 48 hours ago, it would be easy for a team to get complacent and still think about the past. Those in charge did not let this happen today. Norvell was on his team early and often, with offensive coordinator Alex Atkins in particular matching his energy.

The team's focus continues to be on the group inside the locker room. As Norvell said during his post-practice media availability, “it’s about us, and that’s our focus.”

Azareye’h Thomas

The second-year player continued to build on his big game vs. the Tigers with a dominant practice Tuesday morning. He made the defensive play of the day, a PBU on Johnny Wilson in the third play of 11 on 11. Later on, during 1-on-1s, he was incredibly sticky on Hykeem Williams running the comeback route for the freshman and dropped a should-have-been interception. Thomas’ length frustrates receivers and seems to have taken a step forward from last year with all of the different alignments Adam Fuller puts him in. He was in lockstep with Mason Taylor, Jayden Daniels's favorite tight-end target for much of the game proving how the coaching staff sees the corner as a Swiss army knife.

Azareye’h Thomas remains at the top of the cornerback rotation and possesses the tools to become a true shutdown corner.

Rodney Hill

Rodney Hill’s run in the 4th quarter epitomized the entire second half for Florida State. He came downhill, took no prisoners, and finished on impact. The redshirt freshman seems to grow in belief each day in practice, and the coaching staff notices.

On Tuesday, he took the momentum from the game and brought it to practice, popping a 40-yard run during 11 on 11 work today. Florida State needed a third running back to step up behind Benson and Toafili, and Hill seems ready to embrace that role.Zw

Florida State will return to work in an open-to-the-media practice tomorrow as they prepare for their 8:30 P.M. kickoff Saturday night.

Head Coach Mike Norvell

Offensive Coordinator Alex Atkins

TE Jaheim Bell

Video Courtesy Noles247

OL Keiondre Jones

Video courtesy The Osceola

DL Joshua Farmer

Video courtesy Warchant