Florida State – With day four of training in the books, the Seminoles are looking forward to their last day at shells Monday and their first day at full podiums on Tuesday. Overall, head coach Mike Norville was pleased with his team’s performance last week, and he and the players are preparing to go to the extreme.
Today’s drill was a swing of sorts with which side of the ball was the most effective, highlighting the competition we’ve seen from the team over previous drills. Quarterback Jordan Travis continues to work on a high game and show as AJ Duffy goes through one of his best practices.
This, and other takeaways from today’s exercise:
New defensive back Azarier Thomas continues to impress
It didn’t take long for the newcomer to get noticed and he’s been doing so since spring. Today’s Ball Hawk award without a doubt goes to Thomas who flashed multiple times in 7 on 7, 1 on 1, 12 in 12 reps. It’s listed at 6’2 and 188 pounds and has a very similar frame to previous Seminole and LA Rams corner Jalen Ramsey although Thomas might just be a little more modest.
He came out with multiple interceptions (Duffy) and just showed great coverage all day. There was one play where I think he forgot it was only in the tops because he blew back-to-back Treshaun Ward in an exercise that didn’t necessarily require that much commitment. Ward fumbled and was “scoop and record” by DB Travis Jay. Depending on how fast everyone was flying, I’m sure they’re all ready to go full steam ahead next week.
FSU’s midfielders look better and better
Duffy, to date, hasn’t been really the best at throwing the ball consistently, and he tends (as the young quarterback would like) to flex and run in a lot of situations, but today it was nice to see him throw it a little bit. More throwing with some accuracy. The new student’s mistakes will surface (see above) but what is promising is that when he finishes taking new blocks and adapting to the game, with such a long stride and ability to devour the grass, he will turn into a Seminole’s main asset. He had a few touchdowns on the day, one throw most notable for Brian Courtney after being knocked out of the jeep.
Duffy was also able to score a near-perfect throw for wide receiver Joshua Burrell while cutting off the outside, but Burrell spent Just Too long hair trapped with DB and didn’t raise his hands in time. Despite the imperfection, he was not recognized – Norville shouted across the training facility to tell Duffy how great the pass was.
Another play that stood out to me was Jordan Travis’ throw at Ward. It wasn’t a flashy bomb, it wasn’t a fourth and 14th bomb to send the wand home in their tacky golden bus with spinners on it, but it was an accurate throw to Ward who was tightly covered a few yards down the field. It’s a throw that you want to see your QB1 perform with ease and he did just that. Upgrading his ability to unlock players would be a huge asset to the team.
The Seminole defense stands tall
There’s been a lot of talk about fonts lately, and that’s what stood out today. The defense as a whole was doing really well but the two sides were going back and forth in the air leaving only a few big runs away from them. There was nothing going up in the middle and Thomas (again) was able to secure a few potential landings from escaping the charge from the other side of the field. One got away when he ran backwards, Trey Benson was able to jump off the pile and find his way forward with Shyheim Brown standing in the way.
Linebacker Tatum Bethune, edge Jared Verse and Cooper were essential in jogging stuffing and linebacker Kalen Deloach got a few TFLs but was burned by Travis in one try. Travis tells him he’s jokingly pointing at him on the ground as he runs for the first time.
Not defensively, but noteworthy: defensive tackle Robert Cooper had a nice pass that was almost blocked by Jarrett Jackson’s tackle.