by Layne Herdt (Seminoles.com)
In Florida State’s 37-12 victory against The Citadel, 11 Seminoles saw the first reps of their college careers on offense or defense and for the most part the young guys impressed their head coach.
“[They] did good, I was very pleased,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “You see a lot of potential. Still assignment wise they’ve got to get cleaned up a little bit with those young guy, but I still like the athleticism, the potential. They played aggressive, they made plays, there’s a lot of potential out there, we just have to keep developing them as football players.”
While practice is important, getting on the field during games is critical for the development of each player.
“Very important,” FSU running back Karlos Williams said. “You want to pick up the speed of the game, you want to know how fast or slow it is going. It’s definitely important to get in there and get your feet wet.”
By jumping into the deep end, those reps serve two purposes. It allows coaches to see how players handle game situations.
“You’ve got to get out there and you’ve got to get in that game and get it broke in,” Fisher said. “It’s really interesting to watch how they handle that first time on the field. I was very pleased with all of them, I don’t think anybody shied away, they looked very comfortable when they got out there and I thought played pretty well.”
And it gives young players confidence moving forward.
“Seeing guys like that get in there and seeing it click on,” FSU defensive tackle Derrick Mitchell Jr. said. “Not doing it right maybe the first play of the game, but when it gets to the middle of their playing time they just zone out and they’re a different person
“I believe they’ve been progressing just because they have more confidence in themselves,” FSU safety Tyler Hunter said. “They just believe that they can do it and they go out and just do it now without thinking.”
And the veterans remember the importance of those reps for their own development.
“Having to learn the signals on the run and stuff like that definitely prepared me for this year,” Williams said. “So now I can get the signals, line up and play football fast. I can play faster, I can play smarter, make better plays, better reads, better cuts, better blocking. It definitely helped me a lot.”
Now the question is, will any of these new players turn out like their veteran teammates, if so, that will be a lot of fun for Seminole fans.