FSU Football Observations, Questions and Prediction

1 — Most obvious depth improvement on OL, in secondary

One of the main themes you’re going to hear throughout this spring is the improved depth of the Seminoles across the board.

As Mike Norvell was happy to point out during his pre-spring press conference on Friday, more than 90% of the Seminoles’ 85 players for 2022 are already on campus and participating in spring training. It’s very different from what the Seminoles have experienced in recent years, and it’s honestly very different from what most college programs see during spring drills.

Thanks to not having a big senior class last season and being able to bring in most of its newcomers this spring — 23 new players signed up in January, including a favorite — FSU has the luxury of having a roster almost complete this spring.

And nowhere was that more evident in Friday’s first practice than on the offensive line and in the defensive backfield.

At one point during the positioning exercises, OL coach Alex Atkins put all his players into three groups – a first team, a second team and a third team – and he still had one or two players left. I can assure you that at no time during Mike Norvell’s tenure did the Seminoles have a full third team offensive line. (I’m not sure we’ve seen this since before Jimbo Fisher left town.)

Last spring and fall, in fact, there were times when Atkins barely had 10 offensive linemen to work with. It’s a nightmare scenario.

This means that playing offensive linemen often experience too much wear and tear from excessive reps. Competition is limited because there are fewer viable options. And as we’ve seen many times in recent seasons, guys who aren’t fully healthy have had to play in games, which means the whole attack is at a disadvantage before the ball is broken.

I’m not going to tell you that the third team offensive line on Saturday was the one you could win with. There were actually still a few extras in this group (although that will likely change in the fall when a few more high school signers arrive.) But just having more than 15 bodies available for exercise was a big step in the right direction, and several guys from this second unit will certainly push to start jobs.

The depth could be even better in the secondary.

The media isn’t authorized to provide detailed workout depth chart breakdowns, but we can tell you that there are several guys who started games — multiple games — in the FSU defensive field, who were working with the third team defense on Saturday. . And there are guys who could very well start this season working in the second and third teams.

I don’t know how it’s all going to work with this band in the long run. Even in today’s college football, with teams often playing five or six DBs at a time, the Seminoles won’t have enough shots to make everyone happy. They have at least 10 guys who saw major action last season, a few young backups who showed promise and several new additions. I have to think there’s a good chance a few of these guys will be looking for greener pastures in the future.

But as far as total competition goes, this spring should be something for the books with this DB room. Which means guys won’t want to miss a practice — or even a set — lest someone take their place.

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