Florida State coach Mike Norvell admitted the obvious: With just three practices in the spring, he and the coaching staff only got a small look at quarterbacks James Blackman, Jordan Travis and Tate Rodemaker.
Because of the shortened spring, Norvell didn’t get a good look at the quarterbacks or a handle on how they fit into his offensive scheme. And he has yet to see Chubba Purdy, who arrived over the summer, throw a pass on campus yet.
“Evaluate each day, show the execution,” Norvell said in a video conference call with the media on Thursday afternoon. “We evaluate where their strengths are. Three times I got to see them throw a football. It’s going to be a little bit of a work in progress evaluating where those guys are. We have to formulate our plan around their strengths.”
Norvell said he has no timetable to name a starting quarterback. And that’s fair considering the time lost this spring as well as limitations in the offseason as many players were separated and quarterbacks weren’t able to hold informal workouts with receivers. Norvell expected that timing would be off between quarterbacks and receivers and tight ends.
FSU opens preseason practice on Friday in preparation for the open of the season, on Sept. 12 against Georgia Tech. Here are some other reflections from Norvell:
Split-squad practices: Norvell said he has done this at Memphis and will focus early in camp on fundamentals. He emphasized “individual teaching.” The Seminoles won’t work together as a team. This will be how the coaches handle the first three days. He also acknowledged that the way FSU has to practice, potentially some limitations due to coronavirus, could have an impact on how the coaches implement their system on offense and defense.
Offseason conditioning: Norvell praised the players for adapting during the pandemic, where coach Josh Storms was offering up workouts for those who had weights and others who did not. “Coach Storms and his staff did a remarkable job in providing information,” Norvell said. “I thought it was remarkable. I don’t know if it could have gone better in year 1.” He is happy with seeing “bodies continue to change.”
Opening with Georgia Tech: Norvell said he has kept up with Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins, dating back to his time at Temple. The two have not faced off in prior seasons. He feels Georgia Tech will have an advantage of being a program where Collins is in his second year. “I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to play a game on Sept. 12,” Norvell said.
Testing: Norvell said players, coaches and support staff were tested for coronavirus recently. “We have protocols in place,” Norvell said. “I feel very comfortable and confident in the process that we have in place.”