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FSU football: Amari Gainer, Jared Verse, Tate Rodemaker, AJ Duffy interviews

Several Seminoles speak after Thursday’s spring practice

FLORIDA STATE — The Seminoles completed their 6th practice of spring ball so far today the media spoke to two young QBs in AJ Duffy and Tate Rodemaker. Amari Gainer and Jared Verse also spoke the media.

So far both QBs have been progressing well and improving themselves. Duffy is still learning the playbook and passing game, while Rodemaker has looked solid through practice.

Both Verse and Gainer have both been spring standouts and will be key players for the `Noles in 2022.

QB AJ Duffy

On what the biggest transition to college football has been...

“I would say it has to be the little things. They watch everything at this level - from your footwork to the exact ball placement. Just all the little things, I’m starting to learn it better.”

On Tony Tokarz as his QB Coach

“Oh he is great. I like Tokarz a lot as a coach. He is honest all the time. He’s someone we can relate to as a younger guy. He is always talking to us, he’s a great coach.”

On learning the playbook...

“As far as the playbook I did not really dive into it until I got here. On visits I would sit in meetings and learn little nuances and different stuff. When i got here is when I really started to dive in, like January 3rd I would say.”

On learning the position from watching film...

“When we have our group meetings we have all the plays up there and we go through all of them. Some of us will watch it the night before so we already know what we could have done better. So that has been a big help.”

On watching Jordan Travis practice and what he learns from him...

“Just watching him go about his business. How he is just the guy everyone can talk to. He doesn’t just act like ‘oh I’m the QB I’m gonna be away from everyone’. He is just cool with everyone on the team with how he keeps us together.”

DE Jared Verse

On getting settled in at FSU has been like...

“I’m definitely more settled down. Getting used to the playbook is the hardest part but I’m getting more and more of it every day. I am definitely feeling more settled and comfortable around the team. I feel at home.”

On the competition at practice...

“The competition is very hard. No depths charts are set for any position group at all. So everyone is going their hardest. No one wants to not start. No position is set so nobody has got their set spot.”

On the transition from the FCS level to a Power-5 school...

“I have always prepared myself to play at this level. I have always tried to prepare myself to not just be the best D-2 or best D-1, I have always tried to just be the best. So it has been a smooth transition. These guys are definitely top tier. They are definitely at the FBS level for a reason. So it has been challenging but I’m getting a hold of it everyday.”

On getting to practice with Jordan Travis...

“Me and Jordan Travis have a little ongoing beef about if I can sack him or not. I think I proved it enough. But when we were side by side I was telling him he can’t outrun me and he’s gotta stay with me. He’s never gonna be able to do it.”

On beating Travis in a 40-yard dash...

“I don’t wanna say yes or no. But, yes! Definitely.”

On facing up against Bless Harris...

“Bless is one of the best lineman I have ever seen. He is definitely up there, Top-5. Easily. I have only been up against him for a few practices. he is the one I always wanna go up against. He is the one I always wanna challenge myself with. All my strengths he can make into a weakness. So I try to use my weaknesses against him. I feel like we can make each other better everyday.”

LB Amari Gainer

There’s been a lot of back and forth between the offense and defense... how important is that competitive nature in the team getting better versus the days where the offense keeps winning or the defense keeps winning?

“It’s going to be like that in the Spring because it’s always offense, defense rivalry... we go against each other everyday so it’s a good rivalry, it’s great competition, we’re getting each other better. It might get a little heated out there but that’s just from seeing each other everyday.”

How important are those scrimmages that you get a chance to put to practice what you’ve been working on and see what adjustments need to be made?

“It’s very important because there’s very few times where you can go out and tackle full. It’s important to make the most of every rep, every opportunity that you get on that field, so whether it’s thud or tackle it’s important to play your all and give it your all.”

QB Tate Rodemaker

On his comfort level within the system...

“Yah I think it should be comfortable because it’s my third year. But with my third year, yah I gotta feel more comfortable. With these new receivers getting to throw and catch with them and see what they can do - it has been good so far.”

On building his confidence and pushing the ball downfield...

“It’s just every year learning the offense and I just keep going every year and it build confidence. Playing in the games and playing in practice getting reps. It has helped build a lot of confidence. “

On the addition of AJ Duffy to the QB room...

“It’s been good, just more competition. He is a cool dude. But it’s been really good (with him) so far.”