This 2-part series will be covering how spring practice is going for FSU by looking at the scrimmages.
Ever since spring practice began for the 'Noles in the middle of March, I have been hearing mostly positive things about what is happening with the football team, mainly on the defensive side of the ball (Yes!!!!).
The first practice alone was a good sign. The moment Coach Fisher walked on the field, all the players snapped to attention. Not to mention, Fisher said he was pleased at the energy of the players and how hard they worked in the first practice.
I truly believe these players are hungry and want to make some good things happen since there has not been much success in the past couple of years.
Here is a look at how each offensive and defensive unit did, starting with the first-teamers.
First-team offense: This unit by far played the best in the scrimmage. Ponder was on his game thoroughout the scrimmage, as he threw a twenty-yard score to Reliford, and showed little if any ill effects from his surgery.
The offensive line absolutely abused the second-team defensive line, as every single first-team RB had a run of 30+ yards and gave Ponder plenty of time to diagnose the second-team defense's basic coverage.
Jarmon Fortson had two catches, one of which went for 25+ yards. Lonnie Pryor played extremely well when he caught a pass and then held his own against the second-team LBs, showing us why he will be our all-purpose back.
First-team defense: They did pretty well in the scrimmage, but they still have a long way to go. The star was Brandon Jenkins, who recorded three sacks against the second-team defense (not counting the touch sacks) and recorded 10 tackles, half being behind the line of scrimmage.
He definitely made his case to why he should be the next starting end alongside Markus White. Speaking of White, he made a good stop behind the line, showing that he is making strides in his run-stopping abilities.
Xavier Rhodes made some good plays at the scrimmage, breaking up a pass and making three tackles, including a goal-line stuff on Ty Jones.
Second-team offense: Some good things came from this group. Will Secord went 4/8 for 48 yards. Tavares Pressley has a nice 38-yard touchdown run, showing flashes of the player that tore up the JC ranks.
Jermaine Thomas had a few reps with this group, but don't be alarmed because he alternated with both teams and finished with seven carries for 41 yards and a score (with the first team).
Second-team defense: This group was abused the most, since it had to go up against the first-team offense. Still, a few players stood out.
Demonte McAllister was clearly the best defensive lineman, as he was the only one to consitently get penetration in the backfield. He finished with five tackles, one-and-a-half for a loss. Vince Williams seemed to be fully recovered from his back surgery, as he had nine tackles, one-and-a-half for a loss.
Greg Reid played pretty well too, notching three tackles and a nice pass deflection on Fortson. Jeff Luc was very active in the scrimmage, making two-and-a-half tackles and a goalline pass breakup.
Overall, this was a good first scrimmage for FSU, and got to see some potential starters for next year.
In addition, this helped reinforce how good our offense will be next year. The defense looked pretty raw out there, as they were using all basic schemes, but they did not make the same mistakes over and over again.
Plus, everyone was concerned with completing their assignments, and they were helping each other get in the right spots. Those are some very encouraging signs to go with the fact that defensive players seem to be picking up Coach Stoops' scheme very well.
Next time I will look at the second scrimmage which took place today. Until next time and Fear the Spear!!