Florida State Football ended its second day of practice in “pajamas,” as head coach Mike Norvell described Wednesday’s helmet and shorts practice.
Now Norvell and its players are primed to do more by putting on pads for spring football’s third practice session, third on Friday.
“We were able to come out to try and clean up some things that we’ve seen from day one and also try to push the installation of what we’re trying to do,” Norvell said. “It was good for some of the newcomers, they play with an accelerated installation. …
“We’re out here in our pajamas today, so next Friday we’re going to put on some pads and see some physicality.”
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Tatum Bethune, a redshirt junior linebacker, spoke to the media after Wednesday’s practice and said he’s ready for the pads to move on so the team can start hitting each other.
“I’m very excited,” said Bethune. “I’m a guy who likes to hit, so I’m not overly concerned about that.”
Here are some observations from Wednesday’s practice.
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AJ Duffy continues to excel
Sophomore quarterback AJ Duffy had what Norvell described as his “best practice” as a Seminole Monday. He continued his steps on Wednesday.
During 1-on-1 practice, Duffy tight end Jahiem Bell hit for a long connection and then a few games later found another tight end Preston Daniel down a different route.
Duffy also had a strong connection to freshman receiver Vandrevius Jacobs.
“He grew up in sophomore year,” Norvell said of Duffy. “AJ is one of the smartest quarterbacks when it comes to how he picks things up. But it’s the repetitions. You go out there, you can draw it on a blackboard, but when a million things come flying at you and you try something that’s new, it just takes time.
“You can see the confidence and the work he has put in. He’s done a great job with his body. He moves great.”
Jordan Travis is back as a starter for the second straight year and is in for a big season. Backup Tate Rodemaker, newcomer Brock Glenn and Duffy will all get significant snaps behind Travis.
Sometimes Norvell purposely lets them play with the starters to see what they can handle.
“Sometimes we’ll mix different types with the ‘1s’ so we can see them in those situations,” Norvell said.
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South Carolina’s pass, which Bell caught from Duffy, who caught the eye, began with a strong breakout from a route where he scored a strong separation. He then found an empty spot on the field, caught the ball and was able to gain possession with the toe tap.
Overall, it was normal for Bell to show off his distance running skills on Wednesday.
He made a similar catch, scoring a strong separation on a pass from Travis and later adding a strong catch where he made an over-the-shoulder adjustment on a pass from Rodemaker.
Bell had a strong workout on Monday but was yelled at a couple of times by Norvell. He seemed to have corrected his mistakes from the first practice session.
Close colleague Markeston Douglas also made a strong toe-tap catch and was involved as on Monday, as was Kyle Morolock.
Douglas also added a catch over Bethune in midfield.
“Everyone is very athletic, even in the weight room,” Bethune said of the tight end group. “They blink and get your attention. They go out on the field and people notice them. Even Markeston, me and he play a lot. He caught a ball over me today.”
Defensive lineman Gilber Edmond, another Gamecock transfer, also made an impression on Wednesday.
During defensive linemen practice, he was one of the more energetic players and hit the practice dummies hard.
During the 11-on-11 drills, he had a couple of big plays, stuffing a run by running back Rodney Hill in the backfield, and then a few plays later, he picked up a sack of Rodemaker and set up a pass- Rush in the middle.
“He’s a versatile player,” Norvell said of Edmond. “I think he can do anything. I am delighted with what I have seen. He showed a certain explosiveness.”
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- Kicker Ryan Fitzgerald hit a pair of 48-yard field goals. Walk-on Tyler Keltner also scored a 43-yard field goal later in practice.
- Josh Farmer and Patrick Payton were the most aggressive players attacking the tackle dummies.
- Greedy Vance continues to make a difference in secondary education. After a strong workout on Monday, he had numerous PBUs on Wednesday.
- Drops were a problem for FSU receivers last season, but Deuce Spann and Morlock each had intermittent drops Wednesday.
- Spann recovered and was able to collect passes from all the QBs over the course of practice.
- Omarion Cooper, heading to safety, had a strong game in reporting Morlock during the 1v1 session.
- Freshman LaMont Green also had some good plays in coverage and a PBU.
- Freshman receivers Hykeem Williams and Vandrevius Jacobs are making an impression and are heavily involved in wide receiver rotations. Jacobs had some big catches Wednesday while Williams added a few side catches.
- Rodemaker hit running back Lawrence Toafili with a nice throw on a bike route. The bike route for Toafili was a good game for FSU.
- Receiver Ja’Khi Douglas ran some sharp, strong routes and made strong catches.
Reach Ehsan Kassim at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Ehsan_Kassim. You can also follow our coverage on Facebook (NoleSports) and Instagram (tlhnolesports).
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