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Notes: Norvell seeing progress from young QBs, Poitier among camp standouts

Florida State coach Mike Norvell sees improved decision making from redshirt freshmen quarterbacks Chubba Purdy and Tate Rodemaker, who have made the most of increased reps in practice on Wednesday.

“I’ve really been pleased with Chubba and Tate these last few days,” Norvell said. “If you look at the scrimmage, McKenzie and Jordan probably took overall about 85 percent of the snaps. We wanted to get a few days here this week to let those young guys show their growth from the scrimmage. Both of those guys have really taken advantage of those opportunities, taking reps with the first group.”

Kentron Poitier played in six games and caught four passes for 39 yards. Poitier played earlier than expected and he has continued an impressive camp and catches well in traffic against veteran defensive backs.

“Last year he got game experience but there were a lot of things that were forced into it,” Norvell said. “You see his confidence growing. You see his physical development. I’m excited about where he is. I think there’s a huge upside.”

Norvell continues to be pleased with the development of depth at linebacker with less experienced players like D.J. Lundy and Kalen DeLoach.

“I’m excited about the competition we have at that group,” Norvell said. “It’s still a young group. And it’s one that we have to play at a high level. They’re starting to emerge.”

FSU has put a heavy focus on special teams in camp, from returns and coverage units to punting and kicking. Alex Mastromanno has often shown good hang time on punts.

“I think Alex has had an exceptional camp,” Norvell said. “His pocket punting is really outstanding. Not only just the distance of the kicks but the hang time he has been able to create.”

FSU’s kickers, Ryan Fitzgerald and Parker Grothaus, have also been accurate in camp.

Observations

Bright spots: Dennis Briggs’ first step is evident and he has quickness off the ball in one-on-one reps. Briggs is a lighter defensive tackle (listed at 278) but very effective and moves well. Keyshawn Helton has also been consistent. Preston Daniel made a diving back-shoulder grab for a touchdown in short-yardage situations. Reserves on both sides of the ball earned quality reps on Wednesday. Travis Jay had a good day in coverage and wraps up receivers quickly. Jay is also an elusive punt return option, while Ontaria Wilson has also been used on punt returns. 

Areas of improvement: Snapping issues with backup centers continue to be evident. Purdy and Rodemaker have battled inconsistency throughout camp, although they were more decisive and accurate on Wednesday.

Coming up

FSU practices each morning through Saturday and will hold a closed scrimmage on Sunday.