Florida State had their first scrimmage of the season just after high noon at Doak Campbell Stadium, unfortunately media wasn't allowed to be there save the first 15 minutes. That's unfortunate too because EJ Manuel was noticeably absent and there were more than a few good camp battles to watch unfold in a more competitive setting.
We did get to talk to Jimbo Fisher afterwards, here's the takeaway:
-EJ Manuel is supposedly fine, though nobody saw him to confirm that. He could have been having an MRI for all we know, but Fisher says he's day-to-day and could have gone if today were a game. After last season Seminoles fans are more than a bit apprehensive about Manuel's health, any little bump or bruise could have detrimental effects on the season. Clint Trickett played well last season, but he didn't win in Manuel's place. Florida State has to have their fifth year senior QB healthy if they want to go places this year.
-Chris Thompson got tackled for the first time since that fateful play against Wake Forest. He said afterwards that he felt great and with the first hit out of the way, he was ready to really go.
"It's been time to go, but now I'm even more ready," said the senior tailback.
-Daniel Glauser didn't participate which let Menelik Watson have a shot to run with the ones. The returns on him were apparently excellent. Watson is still very raw but boasts athleticism and potential that are almost unimaginable for a man his size. For Glauser, every rep he misses is just another chance for Watson to grow and improve. I'll have a bigger profile on Watson coming up tonight, but for now the young man from Manchester had a good afternoon.
-Also out were Jacob Fahrenkrug and Dan Hicks. Hicks is going to require surgery on some cartilage in his knee that will sideline him for a good portion of the year while Fahrenkrug suffered an ankle injury during the scrimmage that should take a few weeks to heal up.
-Fisher credited the offensive line with being much further along this season than last, last year the defensive line was dominant whereas this year Fisher sees comptetition.
"I was very pleased. It’s a battle now," said Fisher. "‘You get me, now I’ll get you.’”
-Ronald Darby continues to impress, you can tell when a coach is fibbing a little and when he really means what he says. A lot of times the words aren't quite as important as how they're delivered and more important than just printing another Ronald Darby quote here, let me just tell you that Jimbo Fisher legitimately smiles when Darby gets brought up. And not like he's putting on either, but like a poker player would when he's got the hand to beat and he knows it. Some of the freshmen getting talked up are just benefiting from camp hype, Darby seems to really be earning his.
-A 12:30 scrimmage in the middle of an August day in Tallahassee sounds like a good recipe for heat stroke but there was method behind Fisher's madness:
“We’ve got to get in this heat," said Fisher. "This has got to be our advantage, not a disadvantage. We’ve got to thrive in this environment – like the (Minnesota) Vikings in the cold.”
-Finally, Devonta Freeman also got his first contact of camp when he sought out Nick Moody (a notoriously hard hitter) and the two collided violently on the goalline, a helmet popping off at the moment of impact. Both got up staggering, but quickly shook it off and returned to the huddle.
"Devonta really does love contact," Chris Thompson joked afterwards. Florida State is happy to have both healthy again.
I'll have more coming up for you this this evening.