FLORIDA STATE — The Florida State Seminoles returned to the practice fields on Tuesday after a grueling week ending with a Saturday scrimmage. Head coach Mike Norvell said that it wasn’t their best practice he’s seen but that he was happy with the scrimmage and spoke on a few different changes with the team.
Jordan Travis started off a little slow but mostly looked crisp with his passes. A lot of the offensive struggles came from dropped balls and having to deal with a stout defensive line across the board.
Here are some takeaways from today's practice:
Run game impresses, Burrell taking backfield snaps
Joshua Burrell switched jersey numbers recently from 81 to 12 which was a little confusing at first — especially when seeing him come out of the backfield as a running back. Despite the visual shock value, along with some good catches in one on ones, he seemed to look comfortable taking snaps at the running back position.
Burrell garnered praise from teammates and coaches who are confident in his role moving forward — particularly from now-fellow ball carrier Treshaun Ward.
“With it being his first day today, he surprised me, there’s a lot of things going on being a running back. He just came out there and just excelled, it looked like he was supposed to be with us the whole time.” -
Overall, the running game stood out. There were numerous holes that the offensive line created and Lawrence Toafili, Treshaun Ward, and Trey Benson all had good days.
Toafili was mentioned by name by Norvell as being a player he thinks has had a ton of improvement this off-season.
*It was announced today that running back CJ Campbell will miss the upcoming season due to injury.
Scouting the Duquesne Dukes
The Seminoles were able to break into scout teams to prepare for their matchup against Duquesne which is in less than two weeks. The offense looked good (I didn’t get a chance to watch the scout team offense against the defense) — the quarterbacks looked good on their reads and were generally getting the ball to where it needed to be. Tate Rodemaker had a few plays that popped but one, in particular, was a pass to Kentron Poitier where he successfully looked off the defense and rolled out to where he saw an opening. It was a well-thrown pass for about 15-yards that looked polished.
Treshaun Ward also had a nice touchdown run to the outside while carving up the scout team’s secondary. Norvell ran over to tell Ward how pleased he was.
Wide receiver Deuce Spann had a nice grab thrown by Travis. What made the play look good was a mixture of ball placement (in which it couldn’t have been better), the timing of the route, and actually completing the play from start to finish.
*Today was transfer defensive back Malik Feaster’s first full day in pads after a brief acclimation period.
Malik McClain carving out a role
McClain has turned into one of the best receivers on the team — there is hardly any comparison to last year. His routes are looking spot on, he can make people miss in the open field, and is a talented ball catcher. Creating separation and running after the catch were things that stood out today, particularly in 1-on-1 and during 11 on 11. On one play, he was able to catch the ball in the flats and make multiple people miss while driving upfield on what should’ve been a touchdown (the play was called dead.)
PFF gave him an overall offensive grade of 57.4 his freshman year and that is a stat that should go up significantly with his overall improvement and having another year in the system.
With less than two weeks left until the Seminoles kick off against Duquesne, the team will ramp up the end of fall camp continuing heavy preparations for their Aug 27 matchup at Doak Campbell Stadium.