Defensive back Demorie Tate will take an academic redshirt this season, coach Mike Norvell announced on Wednesday. Tate has not played in Florida State’s first three games this year.
Norvell said the redshirt is necessitated by “some things early in his high school career.”
“Unfortunately there are circumstances he had to work to overcome,” Norvell said. “We’re really proud of him for the way he finished his high school career, especially academically. … But he’s done a great job of going out there and developing, working. He has the the right mindset in understanding that he has got to improve. He’s got to get better for when the moment does arise. Even though that will be this next season, he is continuing to try to get better. We hold him to the same exact standard. He is really growing within that and we are expecting big things as he continues to develop.”
Tate was the highest-rated signee in Florida State’s 2020 class and had been expected to compete for playing time in his first season on campus. In August, Tate spoke positively about what he has been able to learn at cornerback in defensive coordinator Adam Fuller’s scheme.
“I think it helps me as a corner because I’m not just playing one side of the field, I can play both sides of the field – the boundary corner and the field corner,” Tate said. “I like what he’s doing. I like what he brought.”
The loss of Tate limits the depth at cornerback, although FSU has veterans like Asante Samuel Jr., Jarrian Jones, Meiko Dotson and sophomore Akeem Dent.
Norvell critical of Wednesday’s practice
Norvell also lamented Wednesday’s practice was one lacking the “standard” as FSU focused on third downs, two-minute and red-zone situations ahead of Saturday’s game against Notre Dame.
“Thought there were moments it was solid work and there were moments where we were not meeting the standard that is necessary,” Norvell said. “The choice has to be made every single day of what we’re willing to give and invest for what we want. At times today we did that and at other times we did not. We have to continue to work and make that choice as a football team and as individuals on what that standard is going to be for each one of us.”
Norvell later said several leaders were stepping up to communicate what the coaching staff was looking for from various groups.
Marve: Dix, Lundy earn opportunities
FSU coaches haven’t seen the production from veterans at linebacker as it wanted, which has opened the door for true freshmen like Stephen Dix and D.J. Lundy to see playing time.
“I think when it comes to this level of football at this particular institution, you don’t see young players play as early as maybe some of the guys that are playing at linebacker,” said Chris Marve, FSU’s linebackers coach. “I think in order to earn that type of opportunity, you have to be a particular caliber of player and young person to earn that position and earn that opportunity. I think we have some really young players who are really special in Stephen (Dix Jr.) and DJ (Lundy) that have been granted opportunities that quite frankly they have earned. They’ve earned from the respect of the coaching staff, the respect of their peers.”
Marve remarked that he and the coaches are looking for players they can trust, regardless of whether they are seniors or freshmen.
“We want to put people out there we can trust,” Marve said. “Specifically with those two, they’ve earned the trust of us and I think they’re continuing to earn it just by the way that they work, the maturity that they have and just the care level that I think is unique to them because of who they are as people.”
Dotson’s return could strengthen secondary
Meiko Dotson returned to the field for the first time this fall against Jacksonville State and had a tackle in his FSU debut. Dotson has exceptional instincts after recording eight interceptions in 2019 at FAU and is excited for what he can bring to the defense.
“Just to be around the guys, I know how hard they’ve worked too so I was just happy to be with them in any way I could,” Dotson said. “It was just helping uplift some of the younger guys and just being excited for the team.”