FSU held its 10th practice of the spring on Monday afternoon in shells (helmet, shoulder pads and shorts) under partly sunny skies, temperature comfortably in the 70s, with a slight breeze and, at least early on, the sounds of the Marching Chiefs practicing in the background. Coach Mike Norvell led his squad through a 20-period practice with the main focus being on individual and group. The team only went through 11-on-11 work in four of the five-minute periods today.
A small group of players saw their first live action of the spring either in individual position periods and/or in team periods. Graduate transfer tight end Jordan Wilson participated in some individual drills but didn’t participate in contact drills. Offensive lineman Baveon Johnson participated in his first full practice of the spring, as did defensive tackle Jarrett Jackson. All three players had spent the previous nine practices rehabbing from individual injuries with the team’s medical and strength and conditioning staff. Defensive tackle Joshua Farmer was back in action Monday as well after not getting any reps in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Among those limited or not participating in practice today were TE Jackson West, CB Jarvis Brownlee, LB Jaleel McCrae and OT Jalen Goss.
With Johnson back at practice, FSU’s first-team offensive line consisted of LT Darius Washington, LG Brady Scott, C Maurice Smith, RG Dontae Lucas and RT Robert Scott. The second-team line consisted of LT Lloyd Willis, LG Zane Herring, C Baveon Johnson, RG Bryson Estes and RT Chaz Neal.
After Saturday’s scrimmage, where the defense put pressure on the quarterbacks constantly and recorded approximately 10 sacks, the offensive line looked better Monday in pass protection both in group and team drills. The offensive and defensive lines each won about half of their one-on-one matchups while the defense got the better of the offense by a slim margin in the twist/stunt pass-protection period, which features two offensive linemen going against two defensive linemen. Standouts for the offense where Neal and Scott. On defense Quashon Fuller, Dennis Briggs and Robert Cooper all impressed.
The team did spend four periods going 11-on-11, where all three quarterbacks looked sharper than they did on Saturday. The team spent two periods in first-and-10 situations. McKenzie Milton went 2 for 3 in those two periods, while Jordan Travis went 4 of 5 and Tate Rodemaker went 0 for 2 with one of his incompletions coming on a ball that should have been caught. The defense did record four sacks during those two periods. Most of the completions during this portion of practice went for 10 yards or less as the offense continues to struggle to make plays down the field in the passing game.
In the third-and-long period, Milton and Travis did find success downfield. Each quarterback got one series in this situation with Milton completing his on a pass to Bryan Robinson, who made a diving catch for 20 yards. Milton was forced to scramble on his two other attempts but continues to show that he can buy time with his legs when protection breaks down or he can’t find an open receiver. Travis went 1 for 2 in third-down situations and completed a pass to TE Camren McDonald for a first down.
Norvell ended practice with the two-minute drill, where Jordan Travis hit Ontaria Wilson for a 65-yard touchdown on a 1-play drive with the first-team offense going against the first-team defense. Milton moved the offense into plus-territory on an eight-play drive but the defense came up with a fourth-down sack to end practice.
FSU will practice again on Wednesday before taking a break for the Easter Holiday.