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Florida State Fall Camp Observations: Practice Six and Full Pads

The Seminoles went full pads for the first time this fall on Tuesday morning.

The Seminoles concluded their third straight day of fall practice by going full pads on Tuesday morning. It was the first time this fall that Florida State had a fully padded practice.

There was plenty of physicality and competitive energy on the practice fields and inside the IPF. NoleGameday was in attendance for the session and we've listed some observations from different position groups and players below.

READ MORE: First Day of Fall Camp Observations for Florida State

— The tight ends and wide receivers dealt with some drops early in practice.

— Thought the linebackers got the best of the running backs during a blocking drill. Brendan Gant beat a running back by using his physicality to drive the player back into the quarterback. Amari Gainer was quick enough to get around a running back. Omar Graham Jr. won just about every rep he was given and made most of them look easy. CJ Campbell had the best reps blocking wise out of the running backs.

— Quarterback Tate Rodemaker had the drive of the day along with Trey Benson in the backfield. Rodemaker led a scoring drive, finding multiple receivers for large gains, including a perfectly thrown ball to Darion Williamson. The drive ended in the red zone with Rodemaker finding tight end Markeston Douglas in stride for six. Gorgeous ball by Rodemaker to make it happen. A very nice drive by the quarterback fitting balls into tight windows. He came back the following interception and nearly tossed a pick so there are still moments of up and down play.

— True freshman offensive lineman Julian Armella had an impressive one on one rep against defensive end Jared Verse in the early part of practice. Armella has come into camp quietly for the most part and is there listening to his coaches and veteran linemen. You can see the focus and it’s developing for him. 

— Quarterback Jordan Travis found wide receiver Deuce Spann deep in one on ones for a 45-yard catch which would have resulted in six in a real game scenario. Ball was thrown right on the money allowing Spann to use his speed as a weapon. 

— Wide receiver Darion Williamson was a standout in team drills today. He caught a dart from Tate Rodemaker despite tight coverage from Azareye'h Thomas. On a different drive, Williamson went up to high-point a pass from AJ Duffy that resulted in a field goal. Mike Norvell said following practice that Tuesday was the first day that Williamson had been fully cleared after a small accident prior to camp.

— All four scholarship running backs flashed today in Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson, Lawrance Toafili, and Rodney Hill. Ward, Toafili, and Hill made some big plays in the passing game while Benson hit a hole for a big run in team drills. Ward scored a touchdown from the five after a long run to set it up a play earlier.

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— Tight ends Brian Courtney and Markeston Douglas were the most impressive of the group in team drills. Courtney and Jordan Travis hooked up to move the offense into the red zone on one drive. On an earlier possession, Rodemaker delivered a perfect throw to Douglas for a touchdown. Jackson West caught a pass from Travis on one of the final drives.

— The defense had moments of brilliance and moments of inconsistency. The unit stopped the offense multiple times during team drills with pressure on the quarterback and tackles in the backfield. However, there were also a few situations where players got loose. On one snap, Treshaun Ward caught a pass out of the backfield from Jordan Travis that went for around 30 yards. 

— You can see the trickle-down effect from the coaches to players as far as accountability. On both sides of the ball, veterans and young players alike are continuously staying on one another to line up correctly, make the right reads, etc. The culture that Mike Norvell has been working to instill since day one is consistently showing up.

— Defensive end Dennis Briggs had multiple sacks during Tuesday's practice which was probably his best outing so far this fall. After practice, Briggs mentioned that he's excited to be back fully healthy. He's primed to make a sizable impact in that room alongside Jared Verse, Derrick McClendon, and Patrick Payton. 

— Shyheim Brown had a good fall last year after arriving at Florida State and that's been the same story thus far in 2022. He simply has a tendency to end up around the ball and he's always in the right position. Brown got a tackle for loss in team drills. 

— One true freshman we’ve been keeping a close eye on is Bishop Thomas after a strong presence shown in spring. In team drills, he recorded a sack in the red zone on fourth down. He’s been a menace on the inside coming through showing his strength battling linemen. Haggins has to be excited for Thomas continuing to show flashes and learn.

— Sticking with Bishop Thomas, on one of the final plays of practice, true freshman AJ Duffy was forced out of the pocket by pressure. It was a fourth-down situation so Duffy heaved the ball towards the end zone. Thomas was in position to come down with the pick but couldn't jump quite high enough to nab it. The entire defense loved it.

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout fall camp.

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