Aug. 7, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – It wasn’t a traditional two-a-day for the FSU football players as each practiced just once on Tuesday but there were two sessions. After the first and second teams worked out at 9:20 a.m., it was the rest of the team’s turn this afternoon. About half the squad worked out for 18 periods under rather mild temperatures to close out the first session of fall two-a-days.
- There were a few unexpected number switches on the first day. Kenny Ingram moved from 39 to 19. Freshman Bernard Brinson took over 39. Jatavious Jackson was wearing No. 90 and Taiwan Easterling switched from 19 to 82.
- A group of five players worked returning punts and kicks in the late session. Brandon Paul, Easterling, Russell Ball, Brinson and Dionte Allen all took turns working in the return game.
- Practice began with special teams work and work in position groups. The defensive groups (linemen, linebackers and secondary) rotated between stations on the far field.
- In run drills Ball had a nice run as did Pat Davis. Justin Mincey turned in the biggest defensive play with a tackle for loss.
- In passing drills Christian Ponder had a nice hook-up with Todd St. Louis and also hit St. Louis again on a deep ball. Anthony Leon recorded the only pick for the D in the drill.
- In 1-v-1 D’Vontrey Richardson connected with Reed and Easterling while Ponder also hooked up with Easterling, who had a very impressive first day, and Chase Walker.
- Easterling, a Hattiesburg, MS native, continued to shine in pass skel. He hauled in a deep ball from Richardson as did Walker. Dionte Allen had a pass break up for the D that was picked out of the air by Leon, his second INT of the day. Allen made another big play later when he knocked a ball loose from Reed. Ponder finished the drill with two more completions to Walker and a beautiful deep out to Easterling. Korey Mangum finished up strong breaking up a pass.
- The Easterling highlight reel continued in skel when he made the catch of the day. Brinson had perfect coverage on his freshman counterpart as they both went up for a Richardson pass. Easterling took the ball away from Brinson and came down with the completion. Reed had a big play as well as he hauled in a short pass from Ponder and made a great move after the catch to turn it into a big gainer. Walker recorded another catch as did Cameron Wade. Brandon Paul caught three more balls as well.
- Defensively Ingram picked off a pass that came from a deflection and Ochucko Jenije and Brinson broke up passes.
- The offensive and defensive lines also went 1-v-1. Eli Charles used his speed on two occasions to get sacks while Kendall Smith, Mincey and Kendrick Stewart also got to the QB. Offensively A.J. Ganguzza, Rodney Hudson, Anthony Grosso and Antwane Greenlee all stonewalled at least one rusher.
- The practice closed with 11-on-11. Ball once again turned in a great run getting around the corner and Ponder hooked up with St. Louis once again. On the other side of the ball Rodney Gallon had a big stop, Mangum stripped a ball loose and Allen broke up a pass.
Freshman Wide Receiver Taiwan Easterling
“I feel pretty good. We went over the routes and watched the older groups film and that really helped us out this evening. This really helped because I know tomorrow we are going to be all back together and there are going to be less reps. This really helped us out. I felt pretty good; a little tired but I banged it out.
“We are just pushing each other – the main thing we are trying to do is push each other. We all stick together. All of the four receivers who came in – we all just stick together. We got that bond right off the bat the first day.”
“I’m not even thinking about that now (playing professional baseball). I’m just going to go out there every day and playing football. You’ve got to want to go out there and play but if you get redshirted that’s just helping you out even more – learning the system, knowing the plays and just working hard. It’s really going to help us out.”
Junior Safety Kenny Ingram
“I feel pretty good. I didn’t give up so it feels pretty good to come out here. I have got to work back up to my status where I was. I feel like a freshman all over again. Hopefully everything will work out alright.
“To come out here and get a pick on the first day — it felt pretty good. Hopefully I can continue that the whole two-a-days and work my way back up the chart. I have been doing a lot of reads on the quarterbacks – their drop steps and stuff like that and that helped me out a lot.
“Realistically, I am hoping to go out and just make an impact for the team. I hope to play. I know I am going to be on special teams a lot and I am going to go out there and dominate on that. Hopefully I will be able to get some time on the field. I am going to go out here and work hard and I just had to stay mentally focused all day because there were some times when I got down. I just know it’s only the first day of practice and everything will work out.”
Freshman Linebacker Maurice Harris
“I expect to work hard. I am trying to get better. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I want to see how the first and second teams practice and see how I compete.”
Freshman Cornerback Dionte Allen
“It was great today. The heat got to me a little bit but after I got out here and started to work out it was great. Everybody was excited to be out here. Everyone I saw worked hard. All of us are ready to turn this program back around.”
On the anticipation from committing to FSU to his first practice
“When you want to go somewhere your whole life, I have no problem coming out here and giving it everything I got everyday. It is fun. I am having a great time at Florida State.”