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FSU Practice Notebook: Young DB's Taking Advantage of Their Opportunities, OL Battles Injuries

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Florida State was back it again on Friday, practicing for the fourth time on the young season and unlike Thursday, there was hardly a cloud in the Tallahassee sky. With a heat index of 93 degrees and the sun beating down on players and coaches, it was a sweltering day at Florida State.

"Good energetic day," said Jimbo Fisher. "Some of those young guys continued to learn, some of the old guys are getting better. I liked the energy level though and I liked our focus."

Right now a number of Florida State players are working back from injuries that limited them or kept them out of Spring practice. Corners Nick Waisome and Ronald Darby and safety Tyler Hunter were all hampered last Spring and have been working back at varying rates.

Waisome and Darby have both been limited early on and are being eased back into things. Darby had surgery in early January to fix a sports hernia and is being eased in gradually. Waisome (foot) has been working with the second team as he gets back. Hunter missed the Spring with a knee injury but has looked close to full speed and is working with the first team defense.

While Darby and Waisome get closer and closer to being back completely, some of the younger DB's have been taking an advantage of their chances to run with the first team. Sophomore PJ Williams has looked very strong early in camp and following a strong performance last Spring, could be positioned to challenge for some solid playing time this season.

True freshman Jalen Ramsey- a five-star recruit who flipped from USC at the end of the recruiting period- has also been working with the ones. At 6-1 195 Ramsey has good size and excellent athleticism. He'll likely make more of an impact on special teams in year one, but could challenge for a bigger defensive role before long too. 

##- Speaking of injuries, Austin Barron has a broken bone in his foot that will require surgery and a pin to be put through it. He is out 3-4 weks.

“He played all day yesterday, he had a phenomenal day, we ran him with the ones and mixed him in at center, I mean he had a phenomenal day. Walked in [today] and said his foot was sore,” said head coach Jimbo Fisher. “Turns out he had a little break on the outside bone.”

##- Bryan Stork is also being limited during camp (as he will be all year) after he underwent surgery on his big toe this past season.

“We always gauge him, and every four days we give him a break,” said Fisher. “He doesn’t need reps.”

##- Sterling Lovelady worked at center with the ones today. Ira Denson is still day-to-day.

##- So far from watching the first team defense it doesn't look like the Seminoles plan on lining up with more than two linebackers very often this season. Jeremy Pruitt loves his DB's and this may be the most athletic group FSU has had in the secondary in quite some time.

##- Matthew Thomas is a big guy. He's been working with the three's and shadowing Telvin Smith and Christian Jones a lot. How much Thomas plays early in his Florida State career remains to be seen, but he passes the eye test. 

##- Another player who just leaps out at you when he walks by is Demarcus Walker. Fisher joked a few days ago that despite not getting to participate during the Spring, Walker watched so much film and spent so much time at FSU's facilities that it seemed like Demarcus Walker was in Sal Sunseri's office more than Sunseri was.

I thought it was his office and not Sal's,” joked Fisher. “He’s up there watching film all the time. I mean I thought he worked up there.”

So far in camp, Walker looks like he's a bit ahead of the game. So the film study may have paid off.

##- Jimbo Fisher raved about Jacobbi McDaniel. McDaniel has missed two years battling injuries but is healthy and has looked very good early.

"I'll tell you what, I repped him today for the first time in the walkthrough, not full speed but kind of going," said Fisher. "I mean naturally just the way he moved and did some things in there, that body type and the way he controls that body, he's athletic now.

"It was even better than I thought he'd be right now, he's a good athlete. Moves well, controls his body well. If he can play behind his pads that a big load now."

##- Speaking of McDaniel and what a load he can be, Jacobbi has also been getting some reps at fullback in short yardage situations. Depending on how he takes to the role, McDaniel could be a fun player to run behind this season when FSU is on the goalline.

 

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