A month ago, Warren Thompson was critical of FSU’s leadership and called into question the program’s testing policy before reversing course on social media a few days later. After missing an undetermined amount of time, the receiver returned to practice and has been cited as a standout in camp by coach Mike Norvell.
“We just came to an agreement,” Thompson said. “I wanted to be with my team, I wanted to be with Coach, finish football and this is what I want to do. And I feel safe and I’m ready to play ball.”
On Monday, Norvell listed a depth chart for FSU’s opener against Georgia Tech and had Tamorrion Terry, Keyshawn Helton and Thompson listed as starters. Terry is an established 1,000-yard receiver, while Helton caught 17 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns. Thompson caught six passes for 91 yards in 2019.
It’s worth noting that a significant contributor like D.J. Matthews is not listed anywhere, and his status with the team remains uncertain. But it’s also impressive that Thompson has bounced back from his public statements to now being considered a starter in the season opener.
“It was pretty good,” Thompson said of hearing where he is on the depth chart. “The work that I’ve put in, it’s been a long journey.”
Camren McDonald, he’s loving it
Defensive backs will be busy keeping up with Terry, Helton and Thompson on game days. The attention on FSU’s receivers should allow tight end Camren McDonald to find openings in the defense.
“When you have two dominant players on the outside and Keyshawn (Helton) really, too, Keyshawn has the ability to stretch the field as well, it really takes the emphasis off the middle of the field,” McDonald said. “And I can do my part on trying to get the defense to stretch to stop the middle of the field more and that way it’ll free up some space on the outside. We really play off each other and we complement each other well … I’m excited to see the product on Saturday.”
McDonald said he also feels fortunate he is among the teams that will be playing on Saturday. The California native wouldn’t be playing if he had stayed home and was in the Pac-12, for example.
“When you look at what’s going on in the country right now and that some conferences are playing and some conferences aren’t playing, I would just say that I definitely feel blessed that I’m in a position to do what I do every day and that is play football because a lot of people my age and in my position got that taken away from them,” McDonald said. “It’s definitely surreal and it’s a blessing that I have a game coming up on Saturday, but you also try to live in the moment and just control what you can control. It’s a great feeling.”
Splitting carries, returns
La’Damian Webb was listed as a co-starter at running back with Jashaun Corbin and is also expected to see opportunities in the return game. The junior-college transfer has drawn positive reviews from Norvell, and Webb is also known for his unselfishness.
“I plan on helping my team as much as I can, any way I can,” Webb said. “It really doesn’t matter who get the reps. We both have a role to play and just focusing on the little things.”