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Notes: Norvell proud Noles have embraced hard work of August

Preparations for Notre Dame are evident during various parts of Florida State’s practices. Coaches have put players through various in-game situations while also assigning numbers to scout-team players to help prepare them for the Fighting Irish.

But FSU coach Mike Norvell knows there are some things that go beyond film review and knowing your opponent.

“For game 1, you have to do what you do well,” Norvell said on Saturday. “That’s one of the things that’s been nice of having spring ball, having a full fall camp. We have a much better sense of who and what this team is. Some of it’s going to change though. As you get out there, who is going to show up at a high level whenever the lights are on? We try to put ourselves in the best position with the information that we have in game 1.”

The lights come on in one week. And the Seminoles will continue to simulate game day with a mock game on Sunday evening. Norvell was asked about the identity of the Seminoles and it’s clearly a source of pride that the team has taken to one of his favorite mottos: Work.

“This is a team that’s willing to work, it’s willing to push,” Norvell said. “We try to make our guys uncomfortable as often as possible so that in the moment when maybe things aren’t going as well for them that they can respond the right way. We play with emotion. We play with passion. We’re trying to make sure that’s a controlled passion. You’ve got to prepare them for that. I like what I’m seeing.”

Shane Burnham hired as analyst

Florida State has hired former UCF assistant Shane Burnham as an analyst. Burnham has been on the FSU practice field for nearly two weeks observing the defense, and his name has been added to the list of coaches on Seminoles.com.

Burnham coached the defensive line at UCF from 2018-20 and has previously coached at Rutgers, Iowa State, Elon, The Citadel and Richmond. He joins a group of analysts at FSU, including former Miami coach Randy Shannon and Memphis assistant Tony Tokarz.

Burnham’s father, Wally, was FSU’s linebackers coach from 1985-93 and helped the Seminoles win a national title. During that time he coached some of FSU’s best linebackers, including Marvin Jones, Kirk Carruthers and Paul McGowan. 

Shane’s brother, Pat, is a writer and football analyst for the Osceola.

Observations

FSU practiced on Saturday under cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 80s but the humidity was quite high.

The defense bested the offense in early 11 on 11 action with good pressure but Jordan Travis showed poise in connecting with Malik McClain on a 50-plus-yard TD reception.

Started practice with an end of game scenario. Down by one with a little more than a minute left, offense has to score to win, defense stop to win, up by one. Offense had to drive length of field.

Keyshawn Helton, Andrew Parchment, Lawrance Toafili and Camren McDonald continue to be among the more consistent pass receivers.

FSU spent time on offense and defense, working against different personnel packages that they will see against Notre Dame. The offensive line spent a lot of time working on stunt/blitz pickups vs. Notre Dame fronts.

Redshirt freshman Jadarius Green-McKnight has moved to Will linebacker. “He’s taking to that,” Norvell said after practice. “He’s a runner and a hitter.” Green-McKnight was previously a safety and played sparingly in five games in 2020.

FSU president John Thrasher was at practice. He has been busy house hunting in Orlando, where his children live, and plans to return to consulting for his former lobbying firm, which will bring him to Tallahassee. College Football Hall of Fame receiver Ron Sellers has organized an intimate golf outing and lunch for Thrasher for the Saturday before ND game.

Coming up

FSU will hold a mock game on Sunday, one week away from the opener for Notre Dame. It’s viewed as more of a situational, walk-through practice and less of a padded scrimmage.

Patrick Burnham and Jerry Kutz contributed observations