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2 posts from August 8, 2013

August 08, 2013

FSU Practice Notebook: Rain No Threat to FSU's Practice, Haulstead Done


Florida State has just finished up another practice, their third of the young season. In years past a day like today- overcast with thundershowers rolling in throughout the afternoon- would have threatened to cancel practice for the Seminoles.

Not anymore. Florida State made good use of their brand new indoor practice facility and managed to avoid the thunderstorms that soaked the rest of Tallahassee.

"It's been really nice because you don't have to change your schedule," said Fisher. "You already have a plan, you can go right in, it doesn't delay you work, it doesn't delay anything. We've got two plans [now], and indoor plan and an outdoor plan."

Plenty happened out there today, starting with the announcement that Willie Haulstead's career at Florida State is over. The senior receiver has had trouble staying on the field since a vicious hit in practice gave him a concussion a couple of years ago. Now his career is over after he failed to academically qualify for the start of the Fall semester.

“He will not be with us, that’s one [academic] casualty and that’s a shame,” said Fisher. “That’s the first one we’ve had in four years.”

##- Despite a report saying that Mario Pender had been cleared to practice in yesterday's notebook, Pender did not participate on Wednesday. He was out there today sporting a helmet and shorts (no sholder-pads) for the first time this summer. The issue holding Pender up had been a grade that had not posted as of Tuesday evening. The grade is now posted and after a sports hernia and some academic uncertainty, it looks as those the speedster will finally see the field in a game for the first time this Fall.

##- Ira Denson, a true freshman offensive lineman who will be called upon to provide key depth along the line this season, was in a sling with an apparent shoulder injury yesterday. Today he was out of the sling, but still not actively participating in practice. He has an AC joint sprain in his shoulder after catching it on one of the bags during drills. He is day-to-day.

##- Wilson Bell, another true freshman on the Seminole offensive line, has been working as the back-up left tackle behind Cameron Erving.

##- Jeremy Kerr, a freshman TE out of St. Pete HS, was in a knee brace on crutches watching practice today. He had an MRI that revealed cartilage damage and will require surgery. He is likely to be out at least a month, and could now be looking at a redshirt season.

##- Plenty of unique things happening on the defensive side of the ball. FSU is in the middle of learning Jeremy Pruitt's defensive system and have yet to install all the wrinkles that will be a part of the D come the regular season, but make no mistake about it this is not you'r father's Florida State defense. Players line up all over the field and you never know who will be asked to do what on any given snap. On back to back plays this afternon I saw Mario Edwards stunt and rush from the middle, then drop into coverage against Nick O'Leary. There's a lot going on with Pruitt's new system.

##- Terrence Brooks is absolutely locked in. A reporter asked him earlier today what he had seen out of teammate Karlos Williams' in terms of leadership, Brooks replied, “I really couldn’t tell you, I’ve been focusing a lot on what I have to do.” 

##- True freshman Ryan Green may just be the fastest player on the team according the Jimbo Fisher. If that's the case he certainly looks the part, it's hard to tell that Green is a freshman when you see him in pads. 

##- Jesus "BoBo" Wilson was working at kick returner at the start of practice.

##- The number of talented corners on this team continues to grow. Five-star freshman newcomer Jalen Ramsey has received some reps with the first team and has already caught the attention of his coaches.

"He's going to be a very good player, he's going to be a very good player," said Fisher. "He's athletic, those young corners are talented."

##- Somebody asked me about Jameis Winston putting on some weight earlier on Twitter. I would guess he's added about ten pounds of muscle since the end of last year. When he came in he was actually on the thin side, not so much anymore.

##- Finally, Jared "Scooter" Hagans is still rehabbing his knee injury and has been held off to the side so far in practice.

"He's just getting that knee back," said Fisher. "He does a limited practice so much and then we cut it back and then he gets back in it. We don't want to bring it along [too fast]. He's about right on pace, he'll be fine."


Keep checking back on the blog for more FSU updates through camp...

For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Seminoles Enjoying New Facilities During the Dog Days of Summer


Florida State is settling into some nice new 15-million dollar digs after the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Facility flew up in the shadow of Doak Campbell Stadium this past offseason. 

Despite breaking ground just this past November during the weekend of the UF-FSU game, the facility flew up over the course of the last seven months until its completion in late July. Now it stands between the football stadium, Dick Howser (baseball) and the school's soccer facilities, a massive struture comprised of three fields- two outdoors and one housed inside a giant field-house.

Florida State began its camp on Tuesday and already players are noticing a difference.

"It's really good, I mean I love it," said safety Terrence Brooks. "We're still in the heat a lot so it doesn't really make a big change [right now]. But it's real nice on that indoor field. They really did a great job on that. We go in there to warm up and stuff and it feels just as good as the grass does outside. I love what they did with it."

The team still spends most of its practices outside. This is Florida after all and being acclimated to the heat is an advantage that Jimbo Fisher and company are not willing to give up by moving practices inside full-time.

But the fieldhouse allows the team to warm up inside without damaging the grass surface on the two outdoor practice surfaces. The indoor field uses synthetic turf that mimics grass (as Brooks mentioned) so the players don't require a change of footwear when moving from outside to inside.

The indoor portion of the practice facility also allows the team respite from thunderstorms, hail, hellfire and several grades of ballistic missile (allegedly). All kidding aside, with the thunderstorms threatening earlier today, the thought of cancelling practice never even had to cross Jimbo Fisher's mind this afternoon.

Having an indoor facility is something that Fisher had pushed for since arriving in Tallahassee. The annual loss of several practices to Florida thunderstorms was a regular occurence at FSU in years past and a competitive disadvantage considering those were reps the team couldn't get back.

Those days are over now, FSU is just the second school in Florida with such facilities (behind UCF). But it didn't seem like this day would ever come to some players.

"To be honest with you, I didn’t think I’d be here to see this," joked Christian Jones on Tuesday. "Because they’ve been saying this since I was being recruited that they were going to have this. So it’s crazy for us walking out here being able to see it."

"I was like 'ooh is it going to get built?' or whatever, and then we start seeing them breaking ground and I was like OK that's perfect," said Brooks. "Me and Tyler Hunter couldn't wait to get on in there so one day we just pretty much snuck on in there, went and did some drills and stuff like that, just got a feel for it."

The Dunlap Athletic Center will also serve as a nice recruiting tool for Fisher and staff come this fall and winter. Having the best facilities has become "an arms race," according to new FSU Athletic Director Stan Wilcox. Well now the Seminoles can consider themselves well-equipped. I'm sure Fisher and his coaching staff have already made good use of that pitch out on the recruiting trail.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...



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