FLORIDA STATE — The pads have come on, the first week of spring is over, spring break is here, and a slew of players have made major strides this off-season and are standing out in spring ball. Tomahawk Nation has selected five standouts from these past several days and although there were too many for this list, here are five players that have caught our eye.
Wide receiver Joshua Burrell
I’m sure Norvell and Co. have been thrilled to have the stout receiver back off of injury. The big-bodied athlete has hands and improvement from the quarterbacks has made for some exciting catches. Paired with a new influx of talent and veterans alike there is a lot of promise to be had within this group.
*Honorable mentions: For the sake of it let's just say the entire wide receiver corps has taken a major step forward. J. Wilson, O. Wilson, Pittman, Poitier, Helton — the list could go on.
Quarterback Jordan Travis
Travis continues to impress with his legs and arm; that paired with better route running and more touch on the ball has made the wide receiver room look competent if not — good.
*Honorable mentions: Tate Rodemaker. Don’t sleep on QB2 he has had some of the best practices since he’s been at FSU. AJ Duffy will be fighting for that spot as the game slows down for him and has flashed skill. It is still spring, so there will be a lot of improvement for the two moving forward.
Defensive back Azareye’h Thomas
Give me 15 pounds and 15 more practices with Thomas and he will be well on his way into the rotation as a true freshman. The lengthy corner could use a quicker read on the receiver but he’s still shined in almost every aspect of his game as a frosh this spring.
*Honorable mentions: Demorie Tate. One play that stood out was a leveling, dead in your tracks, hit on running back Rodney Hill fifteen yards past the line of scrimmage to save a touchdown.
Defensive end Derrick McLendon
McLendon was very consistent with his play throughout the first week, showing patience and agility to be able to read the quarterback and get to the ball when necessary. The redshirt sophomore recorded 3.5 sacks and 4.5 TFL’s last season but will likely see his role grow exponentially with roles to fill on the D-line.
*Honorable mentions: Joshua Farmer and Jared Verse. Farmer’s size and strength have been the talk of the town in practice, he’s been a huge weapon as a run stopper early in the Spring. Verse has flashed his rushing the passer ability and his quickness but we’d like to see the D-line work more as a unit rather than the spurts we get from one individual every other play.
Running back CJ Campbell
FSU’s 2021 Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year CJ Campbell has taken his short time with the Noles to grow every aspect of his game. Campbell has increased his strength and he’s definitely a more confident back that’s been able to find gaps in the O-line and excel in the open field.
*Honorable mentions: Corey Wren, Treshaun Ward. Wren's speed has been a tool that Seminole fans always knew he had but the game seems to be getting slower for him, with his decision-making improving every day. Ward has taken a leadership role in the running back room and we’ve seen the same bursts of speed in the open field as we did last season.