With their brand new indoor practice facility still under construction, the Florida State Seminoles are being forced to resort to the school's old intramural fields in order to hold Spring practice.
But as the Seminoles take the field to start their preparation for the 2013 campaign, the different vibe around FSU's football team extends well beyond the change of practice venue.
Just the way the defense lines up in the opening period is dramatically different from in years past. Whereas there seemed to be a good deal of standing around under former defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, Jeremy Pruitt's defense was broken into groups and moving at a rapid pace from the initial outset.
You could tell a good number of the players are not yet used to the brisk new pace and are still unsure exactly where they're supposed to be headed with each new drill, that's a growing pain that will likely iron itself out as the coaches and players acclimate to one another. The process already began, as Jimbo Fisher reminded us after practice, back with the 4th quarter drills the team just completed.
Either way, the increase in reps and workload was unmistakable.
It even sounded different.
Sal Sunseri could be heard barking orders in drills on one end of the defensive field while Pruitt drilled his DB's on the other. The whole defense was flying around and as Jimbo Fisher would say, "doing some things."
Here are some other quick hits from the opening practice:
-Number changes for the Seminoles are here, and much as is the case every Spring, there's plenty of old faces with new digits on the backs of their jerseys. Ronald Darby switches from 13 to 3, with both Justin Bright and EJ Manuel done, he is the only three on the roster. Reggie Northrup is now number 5, opposite Jameis Winston who grabbed it last year.
-We'll see if number four is really jinxed. Last year both Chris Thompson and Brandon Jenkins switched to it and suffered season ending injuries. This year it will be worn by Marvin Bracy and Freddie Stevenson.
-There were six quarterbacks lining up behind just five centers at the start of practice. Clint Trickett was lined up under Bryan Stork at the beginning before switching with Jacob Coker and taking some reps under Austin Barron. Jameis Winston was dressed for the first Spring practice after picking up his first career win as a pitcher less than 24 hours earlier.
-Not much more of an update on the QB's besides that though, Fisher said they rotated a lot and all four got plenty of reps with the ones and threes working and the two's and four's working, but as for any early separation, not much to report...
-I didn't get to see much of Roberto Aguayo, but from what I did see he has more of that kicker build than his predecessor, Dustin Hopkins, and seems to boom it off his foot with just as much brutality. FSU is going to need to rethink where on their intramural fields they're kicking though. Where they were lined up today, provided Aguayo has the leg Jimbo Fisher claims he does, they'll be putting a lot of footballs into Gaines Street traffic.
-Chad Abrams looks like he's going to be an absolute monster clearing out the hole for Florida State this year. He hasn't gained weight, but has bulked up and changed his body type some in the weight room over the past few months per Jimbo Fisher.
-OL Henry Orelus has graduated and is no longer on the team.
-Dan Hicks is back at DE after a year at TE.
-Lamarcus Joyner drew great reviews from Fisher. He's been moved back to corner in Jeremy Pruitt's defense and made a very good play on a ball thrown to the slot receiver for a pick today. Fisher said the QB made the right read but Joyner beat the receiver to the spot.
I'll have more football for you later tonight...
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