August 17, 2011 - by
Doak Insider Notebook: Day 10

Aug. 17, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State football team held its first scrimmage of the fall Wednesday afternoon and afterwards head coach Jimbo Fisher said he was “pleasantly surprised” with the ‘Noles’ performance despite the fact that several players were unable to participate.

FSU was without a large group of offensive linemen, including David Spurlock, Tre Jackson, Trey Pettis, Henry Orelus and Zebrie Sanders. Tailbacks Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas, wide receiver Bert Reed and tight end Nick O’Leary were also not practicing. On the opposite side, Moses McCray and Demonte McAllister were out as well.

None of the injuries are serious.

Make sure to check out our video recap of today’s scrimmage. In the meantime, let’s get to your Twitter questions.

Brandon Mellor
Brandon Mellor Senior Writer
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@nolephin asked, “It seems like the D is going to be great. As far as the O is it safe to say we will go as far as EJ takes us?”

I think that’s a fair assessment. That’s not a knock on backup quarterback Clint Trickett, who Fisher said Wednesday had a good scrimmage despite a makeshift second-string offensive line. But Manuel is the starter for a reason. He’s got the big-league arm, wherewithal needed to read defenses and the athleticism to change games with his legs.

Manuel is a special kind of talent that is capable of taking FSU all the way to the national championship. There are a lot of moving parts and factors to make that happen, though, and it’s not all on him. The offensive line must continue to get stronger while also avoiding the injury bug. The running backs must move the chains and the receivers must catch Manuel’s passes.

Fisher has been pleased with Manuel’s development thus far but he knows there are tremendous levels of improvement that he can still achieve. 

“I thought he did some good things,” Fisher said about Manuel’s scrimmage performance. “He’s got a few things he needs to work on. I thought he stared down a couple guys. I think he made some really good throws coming off second and third receivers. He really made some nice throws in the redone. He was pretty efficient. He threw the deep ball well.”

@BMcAnally19 asked, “Are there any freshmen that are not living up to expectations as of yet?”

Anytime a team signs the No. 1 class like FSU did this past February, the expectations are going to be sky high and results on the field are going to be expected right away by the new players.

But this is a question that just can’t be answered yet because most of the new players haven’t even had a chance yet to make an imprint on the depth chart. That’s a credit to the depth that coaches have built at each position.

There are several guys that have been generating buzz (Timmy Jernigan, Rashad Greene, O’Leary, Devonta Freeman, James Wilder, Jr. to name a few) but that doesn’t mean the ones not making headlines yet are not living up to expectations. 

There is plenty of time for these freshmen to make an impact. From everything I have seen so far, I would think all or at least most of them will make ‘Nole Nation proud when they get their respective chances.

@BergLindWall asked, “With teams obviously not wanting to kick to Greg Reid, do you see Lamarcus Joyner back there too? Or maybe Kelvin Benjamin?”

I can 100 percent tell you that Benjamin will not be back there. But there are other freshmen that you could see.

In addition to Joyner, who is on the first team return unit with Reid, Greene and Karlos Williams have also been getting some work in on kick returns. Sophomore Kenny Shaw has also been practicing with the special teams as well.

Will The should fit into the tight end rotation this season.

@timothymobley1 asked, “Do you know anything about the Will Tye situation?

Tye has been battling and competing strongly so far through camp and should see the field right away this year. Remember, he has two seniors in front of him in Beau Reliford and Ja’Baris Little and now freshman phenom O’Leary is in the mix.

Tye has been working with the second-team unit at tight end and will also likely be featured on special teams. He is just a redshirt freshman so the Sept. 3 game against Louisiana-Monroe will be his first as a Seminole.


Fisher announced Wednesday that he is giving the players the day off on Thursday … sort of. They will still have to make the day up and will now practice on Sunday instead.


In case you missed it, check out my feature story on Lonnie Pryor here. As FSU’s starting tailback, the junior is an integral part of the way Fisher’s offense operates.

Pryor can run, catch and block with the best of them and he’s a pretty good guy too.

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