Florida State coach Mike Norvell met with the media on Friday morning, previewing the start of camp on Saturday. Below are some updates:
FSU will have 25 practices in 29 days. Norvell said there will be seven “helmet practices” and nine full-pad practices. The coaching staff had to restructure the practice schedule due to the new ACC rules.
Norvell sees a mindset and a focus, noting “it’s in the way they come into the building.” We’re a young football team, we’re a team that’s still coming together. Newcomers are building the relationships, investing the time.
FSU will take practice on the road but is not yet able to offer details of where and when. Tomahawk Nation had reported a few weeks ago that practice would take place in Jacksonville on the University of North Florida’s campus. Why is it good to practice away from Tallahassee? Norvell wants to see the team build confidence and also be prepared to play well away from home.
Norvell: “I want to be a relentless football team.” He says to do that it begins with offseason workouts and continues into fall camp. It’s a reflection of everything the players and staff does.
Norvell is asked about staffing continuity — all 10 assistant coaches are back in 2021. He says it’s the first time in 10 years he has had the same staff back as the prior season.
Norvell asked about linebacker Emmett Rice and some other injured Seminoles. “I feel good about where we are health-wise,” he said. “Emmett has done a really nice job. We are expecting Emmett to be a part of this team.” Norvell says Rice has participated in summer workouts and is ahead of schedule. It should be noted Rice was an instructor at Norvell’s mega camp in June and that he did not wear a brace and appeared to be moving around well.
Norvell says he is excited about the offensive line. It’s a group that has been able to build confidence and understands where it needs to get better. He sees Maurice Smith as someone who has “totally embraced what we are asking him to do.” The staff has challenged Dontae Lucas to “take his game to the next level,” Norvell said.
Norvell asked about players who have swung the sledgehammer, mentions Devontay Love-Taylor, Fabien Lovett and
Norvell mentions Stephen Dix Jr. has added about 30 pounds since he arrived at FSU in January 2020 as an early enrollee. Jokes that Dix doesn’t have much body fat on him.
Similar to his interview at ACC Kickoff in July, Norvell does not quantify what percentage of FSU players are vaccinated. He does say they are getting closer to the desired 85 percent total, which has been achieved by a group of ACC schools.
Norvell said it was important land transfers who were able to arrive in January. He feels the strength and conditioning staff has been able to bring along the recent transfer arrivals, such as wide receive Andrew Parchment, offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons and defensive end Marcus Cushnie.
Norvell says he has been pleased with getting to know the 2021 signees who enrolled early, working with them and seeing them transition from high school players to college players. Mentions Shyheim Brown as one of the summer arrivals and recalls the story from Lake City (Fla.) Columbia coach Brian Allen, who played at FSU, and told Norvell that Brown could have played for the Seminoles back in his day.