TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 1 Florida State returned to practice on Tuesday at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility following a pair of days off to start the Seminoles’ bye week.
FSU (2-0) is coming off of a physical 37-12 win over The Citadel on Saturday and won’t play again until hosting No. 23/24 Clemson on Sept. 20.
“Got some good work in today, a lot of base fundamental stuff,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said following practice. “Just going back to basics in a lot of different areas. Because you want to use these off-weeks to revise, whether it’s your hand placement or eye placement and a lot of one-on-one drills. A lot of fundamental drills, a lot of 7-on-7 and some team at the end. Good special teams work, but a good hard day today. They got good work in today and had a good attitude.”
Florida State’s interior defensive line took a hit against The Citadel as redshirt junior nose tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample, junior defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Justin Shanks were all knocked out of Saturday’s game with lower leg injuries.
On Tuesday, Fisher said the trio is still being evaluated.
Goldman and Lawrence-Stample are starters, while Shanks is a second teamer. However, Fisher said the Noles have quality depth on the defensive line and he has been impressed by several players who will earn more reps because of the injuries.
“You still have (senior defensive end) Desmond (Hollin),” Fisher said. “I thought (freshman Demarcus) Christmas did a nice job. You have (Derrick) Nnadi. I mean, you got Derrick Mitchell in the game. You have all of those guys, we have plenty of bodies in there. It was just more quality reps for them and will let us evaluate them.”
Eligwe Back at Practice
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Ukeme Eligwe was back at practice on Tuesday. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native has missed all of fall camp and the first two games while recovering from a Lisfranc injury. Eligwe could compete for a starting role in the linebacker corps.
“We’ll bring him along here as we go, as quickly as he can go,” Fisher said. “But we have a little plan for him. It was very good to see him out, he’s worked very hard to get back at it. Great to see him.”
Florida State Remains No. 1
Dating back to Week 15 of the 2013 season, the Seminoles have been ranked No. 1 for six consecutive weeks in both the Associated Press Poll and the Amway Coaches Poll.
Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Post-Practice Quotes
On today’s practice:
“Got some good work in today, a lot of base fundamental stuff. Just going back to basics in a lot of different areas. Because you want to use these off-weeks to revise, whether it’s your hand placement or eye placement and a lot of one-on-one drills. A lot of fundamental drills, a lot of 7-on-7 and some team at the end. Good special teams work, but a good hard day today. They got good work in today and had a good attitude.”
On the status of the injured defensive tackles (Eddie Goldman, Nile Lawrence-Stample and Justin Shanks):
“They will be evaluated day-by-day.”
On getting young players some significant snaps in The Citadel game:
“Good. I was very pleased with a lot of them. You see a lot of potential, but still, assignment-wise you got to get cleaned up a little bit with those young guys. But I still like the athleticism and potential. They played aggressive and made plays, kicks or made catches and got balls or whatever. So there was a lot of potential out there. We just have to keep developing them as football players.”
On the importance of those first reps in a collegiate game:
“You got to get out there and you got to get in that game and get broke in, as they say. It is really interesting to watch how they handled that first time on the field. I was very pleased. I don’t think anybody shied away or was scared to get out there. Very comfortable when they got out there and I thought played pretty well.”
On having redshirt sophomore linebacker Ukeme Eligwe back in action:
“Very athletic again and looked very good. We’ll bring him along here as we go, as quickly as he can go, but we have a little plan for him. It was very good to see him out, he’s worked very hard to get back at it. Great to see him.”
Were you encouraged by what you saw?
“Very encouraged. Extremely encouraged. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been out there. He’s been kind of that way in this workouts, off to the side, but it was encouraging.”
On if he’ll play against Clemson:
“I don’t know. It’s just his first day out and we’ll have to see how it reacts, if there’s a lot of soreness, if there is any swelling, you know what I mean. I don’t anticipate any, but you just have to wait and see.”
How did redshirt junior defensive tackle Derrick Mitchell Jr. look?
“I think Derrick Mitchell is playing as good as anyone we have up front. I think Derrick’s doing a great job. He’s really emerging into a very good football player. Before, it was nothing but health. He’s just now healthy. He knows what to do and I think he’s playing really well.”
On Mitchell’s confidence to start if needed?
“Oh, in a heartbeat. He’s playing as good as anybody. He’s played a lot of ball and is doing a really good job. Played almost the whole game the other day. Probably played the best of any front guy we have.”
How encouraging is it to see a guy who had previous injuries get back out on the field?
“Well, in the old days, before you guys would shoot ‘em if they weren’t All-Americans by the time they are sophomores, that’s when everyone would play when they are redshirt juniors. I mean, you go back to the stories, that’s the time. Everything is laid out. I like playing all these young guys, but in a perfect world, I like it in the old days, too, when you had guys who knew what to do and get out there. They’d been through a lot of battles, not just on the field but in practice. Fought through a lot of stuff, fought through some adversity. That’s very encouraging, I’m very happy for them.”
On if the new Nutrition staff is important:
“It is. The energy, the mindset. It helps him in class. Replenishing and refurbishing their bodies to get them to when they go to class, study at night and all those things. (Sports Nutritionist Katy Meassick) is doing a great job. I mean, a tremendous job.”
First impressions of freshman defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi:
“I was very pleased with Nnadi. I think Nnadi has got a great future and think he can help us here pretty quick. I liked what I saw – big, strong and athletic. Stayed disciplined in what he did. I liked what I saw a bunch.”
On how it affects practices being so thin on the defensive line:
“We’re really not. We still had plenty of reps. You still have (senior defensive end) Desmond (Hollin). I thought (freshman Demarcus) Christmas did a nice job. You have Nnadi. I mean, you got Derrick Mitchell in the game. You have all of those guys, we have plenty of bodies in there. It was just more quality reps for them and let us evaluate them.”