Tate Rodemaker has the right mind-set, preparing each week as if he will start. And while that technically has happened just once in his true freshman season, Rodemaker may have gotten the call on Saturday if FSU had played Clemson.
Rodemaker said on Tuesday afternoon that he had taken “most of reps” in practice last week. While coach Mike Norvell has not described a specific injury, Rodemaker said he was told who started at quarterback was a game-time decision. But now, moving forward to FSU’s game against Virginia, Rodemaker was able to gain added time working with the first-team offense.
“I think it did help just moving forward, getting more reps with the 1s so I can get more comfortable with them as I’ve been getting reps with the 2s before that,” Rodemaker said.
Rodemaker has played in three games but started just once, against Jacksonville State on Oct. 3. It was a short outing that day but he earned a few drives in the loss at NC State and is now 16 of 26 for 124 yards and three interceptions.
He smiled when asked about varying game plans for the skill sets of himself and Travis, stating that he had no rushing touchdowns last season in high school.
“Jordan is more of a runner, so they’ll have more packages for him,” Rodemaker said. “And then if I get in the game, coach has a whole game plan for me. But most of it, we all can run. So that’s just based on him and what he thinks our skill set is.”
Rodemaker said one area where he has made the most progress is having patience in the pocket. Early on, he said he was quick to roll out and try to evade pressure. Norvell said he has seen growth in Rodemaker through his experiences in practice.
“Tate has done a really good job of taking the experiences he’s had on the field and really working to improve them and build that confidence there on the practice field,” Norvell said. “He’s definitely coming along. I think he’s been very consistent throughout the year, just practice repetition, preparing when he’s gotten into the games. He’s had some good plays he’s been able to experience, but also some plays he has to learn from. The investment he’s making in his game, both mentally and from a physical development. He’s been out there very early in his career, and sometimes bumps come along with that, but he responds extremely well.”
Norvell said Travis has been “moving well” at practice.
“Had some big plays downfield,” Norvell said of how Travis did on Tuesday in practice. “It was a good workday for him.”
Travis is expected to speak with the media on Wednesday.
Ready to run
FSU was limited at tailback in its last game at NC State, with Jashaun Corbin running 14 times for 77 yards and La’Damian Webb seeing just five carries. Norvell said Webb and Lawrance Toafili are back in the fold for the Virginia game.
“They were both back this past week,” Norvell said. “It was unfortunate going into NC State, La’Damian was out of practice for most of the week and very limited when it came to game time. Lawrance wasn’t able to go for that game. But both those guys were available and were expected to play quite a bit this past week and as we continue on.”
FSU football took time on Monday, an off day of practice, to give Thanksgiving meals to those in need. Thirteen players distributed 50 meals to families in the Tallahassee area.
“It makes you realize that this program is just bigger than football,” wide receiver Keyshawn Helton said. “Football is a fun game, and we love it, but other people are going to do things outside of football. Just being there for other people and giving back to the community, I always believe in giving back to the community. So putting smiles on people’s faces, you feel good about doing that.”
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