The Florida State Seminoles are stacking good practices on top of good practices and head coach Mike Norvell seemed to echo that in his Wednesday interview. He seemed pleased today also noting that running back Lawrence Toafili is back in pads but limited and alluded to the fact he might be available this weekend.
Here are some observations from Wednesday’s practice as they prepare to take on the Boston College Eagles this Saturday at noon:
*There was an interesting battle between tight-end Preston Daniel and defensive back Jammie Robinson in individual mobility drills. Daniel won most of them by sheer size. He was able to lower his shoulder and plant Robinson twice. On a different rep it looked like Robinson was anticipating the shoulder and Daniel was able to draw him in and get around him with a spin-move. Robinson had beaten Daniel earlier slinging him to the ground and Norvell was ecstatic, however, he coached Robinson up on what appeared to be frustration and going a little too hard for shells.
11 vs 11
The two-minute drill lasted about 20 seconds and ended in a long touchdown throw to wide receiver Ontaria Wilson. The two-play drive started with a sack by defensive lineman Malcolm Ray and the proceeding touchdown was an interesting one. The throw from Jordan Travis had a little too much air under it and either Travis did not see the safety closing in or didn't look him off because Akeem Dent read the ball perfectly. However, the pass bounced off Dent while he was in the air and made its way into Wilson’s hands for an easy touchdown to end the drill.
- Defensive end Jermaine Johnson II was disruptive in the third-down team drills blowing past running back Treshaun Ward to get into the face of Travis causing a throwaway.
- Running back Jashaun Corbin showcased his speed and was able to get in between the tackles with some good blocking by the offensive line for a 20-yard gain. The defense up front has been ferocious and to be able to hold off Johnson and defensive end Kier Thomas is already a feat of its own.
- Quarterback Tate Rodemaker, under major duress from the defensive line, found receiver Jordan Young in the middle of the field for a first down. Rodemaker has shown improvement throughout the season and made a few more good plays throughout the day.
- Rodemaker got a bad snap over his head and managed to pick it up with the pocket closing quickly. He then threw a pass through a window to tight end Wyatt Rector for a first.
- At the goal line, the pocket held for a few seconds but slowly started to close forcing Travis out. Thomas moved in for the sack but Travis was able to make a nice throw that would've been a touchdown to Camren McDonald had defensive back Jarrion Jones not come in at the last second to swat it away.
1 vs 1
- Preston Daniel had another battle with a defensive back in Brenden Gant but Gant ended up getting the best of him this time swatting a big pass down at the last second.
- Up against Ontaria Wilson, Gant got tricked by a nice route ran against him with Wilson cutting up the field to break away.
- Akeem Dent seemed to redeem himself in this drill pushing his hand into Daniel’s arm to break up a pass.
- One of the guys that continues to make a big impact in practice is ATH Ja’Khi Douglas. Douglas and defensive back Kevin Knowles went in the air for a pass and it looked like Knowles had the interception but Douglas was able to fight for the ball coming down while yanking it out of his hands.
Overall it was a competitive day from both sides of the ball. Wide receiver Darion Williamson seemed like he didn't drop a single pass his way and had one of the better days I’ve seen. At the end of practice, Preston Daniel’s uniform looked like he had played two overtimes at Wake in the rain. Dirt-stained and tattered, he had a busy day.
Linebacker Kalen DeLoach talked about FSU’s victory over the Miami Hurricanes last weekend, looking ahead to Boston College, and making it to a bowl game.
Dillian Gibbons talked about the final stand at the goal line against Miami. He calls it “the best play in football” and said it's one of the greatest moments of his football career.
“If you walk into Doak Campbell right now you can still see the cleat marks in the grass.”