April 11, 2016
Garnet & Gold Notebook: Orlando Noles Shine For Hometown Crowd

ORLANDO – The Orlando natives on the Florida State football roster made themselves right at home in front of their hometown crowd. From Ro’Derrick Hoskins’ interception to Deondre Francois’ touchdown passes and Ricky Aguayo’s game-tying field goal, the Orlando-area Seminoles had a hand in several memorable moments of Saturday’s Garnet and Gold Game.

FSU counts five scholarship players from Orlando and several more from the surrounding region.

“To have significant roles right here in their home stadium, it was great for them to come back,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “They were excited to play. They were like little kids. It was great to see them do it in front of their home fans.”

For Hoskins, Saturday marked the first time he had ever played in the stadium he grew up visiting.

The fourth-year junior made the most of it, totaling seven tackles, a sack and an interception. He also appeared to recover a Francois fumble, but the quarterback was later ruled down by contact.

“It was real, real special,” said Hoskins, who played at Orlando’s Evans High. “It was great because I never had a chance to play in the Citrus Bowl. Not even Pop Warner. We never made it to the level. So that was perfect, being able to come back home and be able to play.”

Running back Jacques Patrick, meanwhile, enjoyed a successful return to the Citrus Bowl after playing there as a youth-leaguer. With starter Dalvin Cook sidelined after shoulder surgery, Patrick ran for 32 yards and a four-yard touchdown run.

“I’m happy for everybody,” Patrick said. “… Deondre had a great day, Ro’Derrick, all those guys. It was just great to see everybody do well.”

Francois lists Orlando as his hometown despite finishing his high school career at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Garnet & Gold Notebook: Orlando Noles Shine For Hometown Crowd

The FSU quarterback hopeful paced the Gold offense with 283 total yards (246 passing, 37 rushing), two touchdowns and two interceptions.

He also engineered the late drive that led to Aguayo’s game-tying, 46-yard field goal.

“I thought Deondre did a great job keeping his poise the whole game,” Fisher said. “I really did.”

Aguayo hails from Mascotte, Fla., about 40 miles east of Orlando.

Senior receiver Kermit Whitfield was one of the few Orlando natives to have a quiet day, but Fisher said after the game that he’s not concerned with Whitfield’s resume. (Fellow Orlando receiver Nyqwan Murray missed the game with an injury.)

“I wish we could’ve got Kermit a few more balls, but I know what Kermit can do,” Fisher said. “I’m not worried about that.”

Aguayo gains valuable experience
Aguayo’s college career is just a few weeks old, and he’s already building his collection of clutch kicks.

At a time when he should be gearing up for his senior prom – he graduated early and enrolled at FSU in January – Aguayo stepped up and delivered on a 46-yard field goal attempt that tied the Garnet and Gold game, 24-24, as time expired.

It was one of two field goals for Aguayo, who also hit 45-yarder earlier in the game.

“I thought Ricky Aguayo had a solid day,” Fisher said. “His field goals were good. To put him in a pressure situation that ties the game, you can’t (usually) ever do that.

“It was great to see him go out there and make a long field goal.”

Aguayo has drawn positive reviews throughout the spring, although Fisher said it’s too early to tell if he has a similar personality to his older brother, Roberto.

With Roberto Aguayo off to the NFL draft in a few weeks, FSU has an opening at kicker this fall.

Whether Ricky fills those shoes remains to be seen. But those who played with his older brother aren’t surprised that he’s off to a fast start.

“I guess it runs in their genes,” Hoskins said. “There was a lot of pressure out there. He stepped up to the plate and made that kick.”

Added Patrick: “What Ricky did at the end of the game was special. To come in in that situation and tie the game — you never know, we could have that during the season.”

Green jumps ‘into the fire’ at running back
Patrick wasn’t the only running back to get extra work in Cook’s absence.

Ryan Green, a running-back-turned-cornerback who has returned to running back for 2016, had a promising showing in the spring game.

A senior from St. Petersburg, Green led all runners with 16 carries, 88 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s an electric guy,” Fisher said. “He’s got speed, he’s got size. He’s got good hands out of the backfield.”

Consider it something of a welcome back party for Green, who missed all of the 2015 season with a shoulder injury. He played both running back and cornerback in high school, and said that his return to offense came naturally.

“That running back instinct kicked right back in,” Green said. “And I just jumped right into the fire.”

At 5-11, 205 pounds, Green might initially strike defenders as a speedy type who likes to run outside the tackles.

But Green insisted he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty.

“I like being physical,” he said. “I’m not very big, but I will lower the boom.”

FSU announces spring awards
FSU handed out spring awards at halftime of the Garnet and Gold Game, and the group of winners included a mix of expected names and a few newcomers. Here is the full list:

Hinesman Team MVP
DeMarcus Walker, DE
Derwin James, S

Offensive MVP
Dalvin Cook, RB
Ryan Izzo, TE
Travis Rudolph, WR

Defensive MVP
DeMarcus Walker, DE
Derwin James, S

Most improved, offense
Auden Tate, WR
Kareem Are, OL

Most improved, defense
Derrick Nnadi, DT
Demarcus Christmas, DT

Schmauch Academic Award:
Ryan Hoefeld, OL

Community Service Award
Alec Eberle, OL
Dalvin Cook, RB
Travis Rudolph, WR

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