Florida – Day 3 heading into the weekend on Friday afternoon. The pads were on and the players were going through the gates at Dunlap’s training fields and the defense let everyone know.
Verify sights and sounds An article to find out what we mean.
Head coach Mike Norville mentioned how pleased he was with the team’s performance today in a post-training interview.
“I was very happy to practice today. It seemed, like I said, real practice, but that speed, physical strength, showed up today.”
In general, it was back and fourth exercises where plays were made on both sides but here are three that stand out:
Receivers and narrow ends made great plays
On the first 11 Day 11 quarterback Jordan Travis opened with a grenade down the field to wide receiver Malik McClain in tight coverage. This will be the third day this contact has surfaced and McClain has shown he can go up and get passes in exchange for a stacked high school. It will be interesting to see him play in the red and move forward but he looks like a big, strong body.
Johnny Wilson had a great day today probably his best day of spring or fall camp, he’s been very consistent and probably only had one drop in the whole practice. But today he’s had several big catches in full group workouts, one on one and seven on seven.
Jackson West is in the third practice and like McClain, he’s had some nice shots, often being targeted when he’s getting one match at an angle or safety on the perimeter.
The lines in particular on both sides of the ball brought energy today and showed a competitive nature during training. Initially offensive coordinator Alex Atkins had done some “extra” drills after the first 12 in 12 games and seemed to get a point because the rest of the day the line position battles were fun to watch.
Defensive linemen Patrick Payton, Iobami Tefas, linebacker Amare Jenner, tight ends Preston Daniel, and Jackson West were all nervous the day they fell in love with the durability that comes with sanitary pads.
One of the line workers who faced extra intensity was Byron Turner Jr., having a field day on lunge drills. The last play of the day actually ended with CJ Campbell getting back out and Turner chasing him from behind near the line of scrimmage.
Fabian Lovett and Robert Cooper both had great days using their hands to spin around the opposing offensive line’s men. The offensive line was not bullied and that’s what made it fun to watch. The play that stood out during the solo rehearsals was Cooper on Kayden Lines. Cooper attempted to use his infamous spinning move but Lyles kept Cooper in front of him and managed to stop him from being pushed into the middle.
Defensive backfield flourishes
In the defensive backcourt we saw Azarier Thomas very active today, with low interceptions and some choppy passes. He’s also been into covering a few catches but overall he’s had a pretty great start in camp and doesn’t look like a freshman.
Today, Kevin Knowles has been subject to opposition and has continued to thrive in the role of Nickel Back. Reinardo Green was also very active today as he got his hands on the ball and allowed minimal shots.
So far the depth in the corner has been very good with a bit of a dip from the first set to the second set and even in the third level the Seminoles are pretty deep across the entire defensive backcourt.