Aug. 26, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A week from now, the Florida State football players will be going to bed with dreams of a season-opener in their heads.
For now, putting the finishing touches on fall camp is on their minds. FSU held its 18th fall practice day on Friday, and after the session ended in the early evening, head coach Jimbo Fisher had some good news.
Fisher said that Chris Thompson, Jacobbi McDaniel and Andrew Datko were all back in action after missing recent practices with injuries.
"I think you'll start to see him," Fisher said about Thompson, FSU's homerun-hitter at tailback. "He's been cleared, [the trainers] have checked him this morning. He's gotten to where he's going and I think he can go. Saw Datko all day today."
TWITTER WORLD REACTS TO ANNUAL KICKOFF LUNCHEON
The Florida State Alumni Association held its 60th annual Kickoff Luncheon Friday afternoon at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
I asked FSU fans on Twitter what they thought of the event and here's what some of them had to say:
@ScottCrumbly said, "Timmy Jernigan ate 4 chickens. Dude is huge."
@FSUbaseballgirl said, "Fantastic speech by Coach Fisher. The players were great to stay around and take pictures too."
@AJGreen35 said, "We are bigger. I noticed right away."
@FSUeyedoc said, "My thoughts are, Timmy Jernigan is a BEAST in person! Only 18 years old…"
JENKINS READY TO BUILD OFF '10, LEAD TEAMMATES
As a sophomore in 2010, Brandon Jenkins burst on to the national scene and earned first-team All-ACC and second-team All-America honors. His 13.5 sacks lead a revamped FSU pass rush that registered a country's-best 48 quarterback takedowns.
At the end of his breakout year, the question was where does the Tallahassee native go from there?
The weight room of course.
"Brandon is a guy that has really bulked himself up," Fisher said. "He's 270 pounds now and last year played between 248 and 253 and he is running the same and doing the same things. He is a tremendous balance and body-control athlete. He has great balance and plays with great leverage."
Jenkins' natural ability on the football field will only be improved by his tremendous size and strength gain.
As fall camp winds down, Fisher said that he has seen even more improvement from his star defensive end. Jenkins' presence alone affects the way that FSU's offensive coaches call plays.
"As soon as they call a reverse to Brandon's side, I say, 'Guys, have you not learned? It's a wasted play,'" Fisher said. "He plays very instinctively along with great physical tools."
If bulking up and continuing to improve were Jenkins two primary goals leading up to the 2011 campaign, developing into a leader was his third objective.
“It’s huge this year. Leadership is, I think, it’s a thing we need," Jenkins said. "We need some players to step up into that role. I’m trying to step up this year. It’s like communicating with your teammates; when something needs to be done, without being negative you want to say something but at that same time you know you have to make a statement. There are a lot of things with being a leader – just doing it on the field and off the field.
"Just saying stuff; the little things that make it work.”
Redshirt sophomore Dan Hicks is a player that has taken Jenkins' increased leadership role to heart.
As the backup to Jenkins on the right side, Hicks gets to learn from one of the nation's best. And in turn he improves by watching Jenkins' habits and plays on the field.
"When we watch film, he's always correct,' Hicks said. "He rarely makes mistakes so by him doing his stuff right there and being a leader just kind of guides the other d-ends including myself in the right direction to be more like him."
O'LEARY RECOGNIZED BY SI.COM
SI.com's Andy Staples thinks that FSU tight end Nick O'Leary is one of the 15 freshmen in the nation that will contribute and make an impact right away when the season starts next week.
Here's what Staples had to say about the Seminoles' young star:
"What will Nike do if O'Leary becomes a star? Never will O'Leary catch a touchdown pass and then tent his fingers to show a school logo on the palms of his gloves. O'Leary doesn't wear gloves. The naked hands and a playing style that would look ideal in a leather helmet with no facemask have earned O'Leary a nickname from his teammates and coaches: Throwback. O'Leary, the grandson of golfer Jack Nicklaus, is a matchup nightmare for defenses in the passing game, but he's also a nasty, physical player who doesn't mind blocking. With fellow freshman Timmy Jernigan also wreaking havoc at defensive tackle, FSU's class of 2011 could make a huge impact early."
Here's the full article.
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
There are just eight days until FSU's season-opener against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 3. In celebration, here are photos of freshmen Timmy Jernigan (top) and Devonta Freeman (bottom), who will both wear No. 8 this year: