March 18, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the first time this spring the pads came out for a Seminole football practice. The team was still in shorts on Wednesday but the shoulder pads were on as the Seminoles practiced for the third straight day. Thursday will be the first off day for the team since spring practice began on Monday.
· For the first time this spring, the team participated in 3-on-3 before breaking into two groups for 1-on-1 and inside.
· Jermaine Thomas had four big runs during inside. Two went for TDs and one of those runs was due to a huge hole opened up by the offensive line where he went untouched. Ty Jones had the biggest jaw-dropping run as he cut on a dime and blew past the defense. Nigel Carr had a tackle for loss on the other side of the ball but the two biggest plays were turned in by Vincent Zann. The walk-on forced a fumble and ended the drill with a big tackle for loss.
· Christian Ponder spent most of the period working inside drills but during 1-on-1 he completed two passes and both were deep TD strikes to Bert Reed and Avis Commack. Corey Eddinger went deep to Richard Goodman for a TD and also hit Corey Surrency. Andrew Nowles’ reps have increased and he took advantage completing passes to Reed, Jarmon Fortson, Cameron Wade and Goodman.
· In pass skel Ponder had a great drill. He hit Reed on a deep pass for a touchdown but that was one of just four and the other three all came on spectacular plays. His bomb to Goodman featured the senior spinning around to locate the pass and pull it in. Fortson’s TD grab came with a defender draped all over him and Josh Gehres pulled his TD pass in while diving into the end zone.
· For the defense Patrick Robinson, Jenije and Allen all broke up passes. Nigel Bradham had a huge hit as did Nigel Carr and Mister Alexander who both converged on Louis Givens just as the ball was delivered.
· In 7-on-7 Ponder’s success continued as he went deep for TDs to both Goodman and Reed. He also connected with Bo Reliford and Commack. Eddinger went deep for six to Fortson and he also connected with Goodman. For the defense Allen and Terrance Parks had pass break-ups and Nick Moody had a big stick.
· While 7-on-7 was going on, the lines faced off in pass rush. The most impressive highlight was turned in by early enrollee Brandon Jenkins. The freshman had three wins including a bull rush on his way to the bag. Everett Dawkins had three wins as well. Moses McCray, Kendrick Stewart and Jamar Jackson had two wins a piece and Kevin McNeil and Markus White also got to the QB. Rodney Hudson and Andrew Datko led the way for the OL as each had three wins. Ryan McMahon had two wins while Rhonne Sanderson and Zebrie Sanders each got a W as well.
· Practice ended with 11-on-11. The highlight was once again turned in by Thomas. The sophomore broke through the line, used a wicked spin move to get past the next line of defense and then took off for a huge gain. Ponder had completions to Reed and Fortson while Eddinger completed a pass to Goodman. Defensively Jackson had a QB pressure and a TFL while Justin Mincey and Craig Yarborough also recorded stops behind the line.
Head Coach Bobby Bowden
Statement on the NCAA sanctions:
“My reaction to the NCAA sanctions is that it was too stiff and I think that (FSU President) Dr. Wetherell is right in making that appeal. The thing about it to me, this thing ain’t about me. That is really all I hear from commentators is ‘Bobby Bowden this’ and ‘Bobby Bowden’. It is about all of our coaches and our teams, you know. I think everybody is putting everything on my wins, which is just part of it. The big thing, the whole crux of it to me men does the punishment fit the crime? Does the punishment fit the crime? I think that’s the thing, that’s the thing we gotta find the answer to right there.”
On Wednesday’s practice:
“Practice today, pretty good practice. We put the pads on. Not full pads but we had our shoulder pads and hats on. The boys handled it pretty good. It was a little bit hotter today and I guess it will get a little bit hotter this spring. Boy that throws it into a different intensity once that heat comes out.”
Wide receiver Louis Givens
On his opportunity this spring:
“I have a big opportunity right now. There are a lot of spots open due to injuries and graduations. I am really focused. I am watching extra film trying to get caught up. I just want to take advantage of the opportunity when the coaches give me the chance. Last year I was a little more focused. I have to get back to where I was. I am trying to balance school and football and handle both.”
On how the offense looks so far:
“That offense looks good. Everybody wants to be here. Nobody is waiting for practice to be over. The guys want to work. We are ready. The coaches are doing a great job and the players are focused.”
Cornerback Ochuko Jenije
On the first day in pads:
“The defense was alright today. We could have been a lot better. There is improvement each day. We will get the day off tomorrow and come back better Friday. Hopefully we will be better mentally and physically when we get back out here.”
On his play so far:
“I have big shoes to fill with Tony (Carter) leaving. I am trying to be the next guy, be that leader along with Pat (Robinson). I am just trying my hardest but I have a long way to go. I am trying to get better everyday.”