TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State football team donned full pads for the first time this spring during Saturday’s practice at the Albert J. Dunlap Training Facility.
The Seminoles enjoyed a long, physical session in what was the third practice since kicking off the spring portion on Wednesday.
Head Coach Jimbo Fisher said the team has improved after he was critical following the first practice, but stressed that the Noles still need to get better.
“They are getting there,” Fisher said. “I am going to call it out day by day, it ain’t coach talk, it ain’t ploys, I am going to call it the way it is. We have to do it every day. First day was bad, second day was much better, today was okay. We drifted at the end, I think the heat and the pads got to them a little bit, but we have to learn to condition. Fourth quarter drills are good, but you have to learn to play in pads, running in pads is a whole different deal.
“Some good things and some bad things on the day, we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of room to get better.”
Florida State returns 17 starters this season, including defensive backs Derwin James, Trey Marshall and Marquez White. James, a rising sophomore, had the third-most tackles (91) by true freshman in FSU history in the fall, while White, a rising senior, proved to be a lockdown cornerback opposite All-American Jalen Ramsey. Marshall is arguably the hardest hitter on the team and started six games at safety and nickel back before an injury sidelined his season. Those three along with rising senior safety Nate Andrews (14 career starts) are expected to lead the secondary and replace some of the leadership and production from Ramsey, who could be selected No. 1 in April’s NFL Draft.
As always, Fisher reiterated that every position is open, especially in the defensive backfield – which could be the Noles’ deepest position group.
“Depends on if they want to be complacent or if they want to get better,” Fisher said about returning starters. “Remembering why you are here, to get better. Just because you started and played last year doesn’t mean you are going to play again. It all depends on your attitude.”
Rising sophomores Tavarus McFadden, Marcus Lewis, A.J. Westbrook and Calvin Brewton are also getting plenty of reps and looking to make an impact during the spring after each saw playing time as reserves and on special teams in the fall.
Ryan Green Back in the Backfield
Rising redshirt junior Ryan Green spent his first two seasons at running back before moving to cornerback last spring after tallying 194 yards and one touchdown on 39 carries and adding a receiving score from 2013-14. However, a shoulder injury sidelined the St. Petersburg, Fla., native for the entire 2015 season. On Saturday, Green practiced with the running backs.
“We have him playing with the running backs for right now,” Fisher said. “He looked really good. I am trying to get the best people around on the field. He’s been doing some things that I liked and I wanted to see him over there for the day. I liked what I saw. He’s as explosive and fast as anyone on this team. He did (like the idea of moving him to running back), I don’t ever force a guy to do it and Ryan is hungry to play.”
Green starred at running back and defensive back at St. Petersburg Catholic High School during his prep career.
2016 Coaches All-Access from March 24-25
The Florida State football team will host the 2016 Coaches All-Access from March 24-25. The two-day event will allow high school coaches to get an all-access and behind-the-scenes look at the FSU football program, including practice and position meetings with assistant coaches.
The cost is $25 at the door and registration will be between Noon – 2:30 p.m. at the Moore Center Lobby on Thursday, March 24. The event wraps up with the final session of position meetings from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 25.