As Florida State moves into the second half of the schedule, there will be a focus on player development and improving after a 2-4 start. But one way to get there is to see two of the Seminoles’ best players on the field again.
FSU coach Mike Norvell said Tamorrion Terry and Hamsah Nasirildeen both practiced Wednesday but he was reluctant to project if either would play on Saturday against Pittsburgh. On Monday, Norvell said Terry would be a “game-time decision” following his knee procedure a few weeks ago.
Nasirildeen is now just past the 11-month mark from his ACL surgery. He has been consistently listed on FSU’s weekly depth chart dating back to week 2 with the Miami game. It’s clear Nasirildeen is getting closer with the question being how close is he to 100 percent. The Seminoles could use Nasirildeen, a thumper over the middle of the defense who had 100 tackles in 2019 and would help a defense that has been given up chunk plays throughout the year. Nasirildeen’s return could turn long plays into 10- or 15-yard gains and limit the damage.
While he has not been able to play, Nasirildeen has made an impact in how he teaches and helps players in the secondary.
“Injuries take all different forms,” Fuller said. “You wish (the recovery) was more cookie cutter for him because there’s not one person more frustrated in the building than him, with his lack of being able to help the team physically on the football field. And I’m going to tell you guys from personal experience, he’s doing everything he can right now to physically get ready.
“Mentally he’s been there since the day I walked through the door. He still asks key questions in the meetings. He’s the one promoting the questions with some of the younger players that are on the field right now. He’s trying to help that development. He’s taking ownership for the development.”
Terry’s return would be a boost for a passing game that is seeking more consistency at receiver.
“Obviously, a guy who demands a one-on-one,” offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham said. “At the end of the day football’s very simple game, you’re going to have to win one-on-ones. There’s going to be points in the game, I don’t care what system you’re in … And when you have a guy who you feel like you can do that on a consistent basis, well, systematically and offensively you can put your entire game plan around, ‘Ok, if we have to win on one-on-one, we’re going to make it be that one.’ And then the entire game, in order to stop you from being successful, the defense knows they have to win that one-on-one.”
More playing time for freshmen
Norvell and FSU’s staff have used 16 true freshmen between offense, defense and special teams in the first six games. He was asked on Wednesday which of the freshmen could see more playing time as the Seminoles move into the second half of the season.
“Sidney Williams is a young man who’s really coming along,” Norvell said. “Him and Jadarius Green-McKnight. I think they’re two guys at the safety position who, through injury, have had opportunities there at practice and continue to develop. I think both those guys have bought in early in their careers to what we’re doing here. Great young men. Physical. Versatile players.”
Williams has played in FSU’s last two games, recording two tackles. Green-McKnight has played in five games, mostly on special teams, and does not have a tackle.