FLORIDA STATE — Today started off with the sound of a boxing bell to signal the fight the Seminoles have ahead of them this weekend against the Florida Gators. The Warchant followed and the energy was on heading into Wednesday’s practice as the players prepared for what lies ahead. Head coach Mike Norvell again was pleased with the progress the team has made and emphasized that in today's interview.
Overall it was a good practice and that has been the trend these past few weeks. The defense battled, the offense battled, and the health of the team is good midway through rivalry week.
Here are some notes and observations from today:
11 on 11
The special team's defense won the game simulation on the day. Quarterback Jordan Travis was able to move the offense down the field easily completing to wide receivers Andrew Parchment and Ontaria Wilson for medium gains. The field goal unit came out at the 28-yard line with intentions to put the game away but defensive tackle Robert Cooper had other plans beating his man and with a hand in the air, he thumped the ball away. The entire defense erupted and with so many players celebrating I could hardly tell who actually made the play until he ran across the field and everyone sprinted after him.
- Defensive back Omarion Cooper showed his speed off the line on one play by quickly getting into the backfield for a sack on Travis. The next play, the pressure was unable to make it home and Travis found running back Lawrence Toafili for a first down.
- Offensive lineman Darius Washington was able to pull into a gap where no one was there with running back D.J. Williams in tow. Williams was then off for a nice run against the scout team.
- Another good throw from Travis to Toafili drew a pass interference call against linebacker Amari Gainer after Gainer moved in too early on the pass and tying up Toafili’s arms.
- At the goal line, Travis stared at defensive tackle Malcolm Ray charging like a mad bull which would’ve been a massive sack had he been able to hit the quarterback. Travis managed to avoid Ray and get the ball off completing it to tight end Jordan Wilson but linebacker Kalen DeLoach was already on him and it was downed at the 5-yard line.
One thing I’ve noticed about DeLoach is he does not let go once he gets his arms around someone. Multiple times earlier in the day during one on one mobility drills, he was hanging on to everyone and everything he touched. In that same drill, tight end Preston Daniel kept showcasing his spin move which was a little funny for a guy that big on backs like Jammie Robinson.
1 on 1
- There were some nice battles between tight end Jackson West and the defensive backs. West was very physical today locking up with defensive back Brendan Gant to turn around and catch the ball as it was coming in. On another rep against Cooper, West tried the same thing but Cooper reached around his torso from behind getting a hand in to force the incompletion.
- The camaraderie is still high amongst the DB’s and WR’s. On a long throw by Travis to receiver Jordan Young, Young went up in the air towards the front corner of the end zone. It seemed to have been caught until the two (Cooper and Young) hit the ground bouncing the ball out. The emotions went from high to low on the offense and Cooper picked up Young. They slapped hands moving on to the next rep.
- Jordan Wilson had a nice touchdown catch in the red zone portion of this drill. Wilson was crossing in and got in front of Akeem Dent at the back of the end zone to make the play. Defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson pulled Dent aside to show what he did wrong and how to correct the mistake.
- On another crossing route, tight end Wyatt Rector scored while boxing out Cooper to make it into the end zone.
The coaches were as loud as ever and especially special teams coordinator John Papuchis during kick-off drills screaming “This is our last full-speed rep until Saturday! Make it count!”
7 on 7
- ATH Ja’Khi Douglas has emerged as a viable solution these past few weeks and showed it not only in this drill, catching a 30-yard pass from Travis, but also in some 11 on 11 against the scout team making numerous plays blocking on the perimeter.
- Defensive back Jarvis Brownlee got himself a pick today off a dart throw from quarterback Tate Rodemaker. He was able to step in front of the pass to get the ball to go the other way.
- On a big run by Ward, he decided he was going to sprint it to the end zone regardless and defensive back Shyheim Brown played along chasing him down from the other side of the field.