Seminoles Physicality Impresses Fisher in Spring Game

Written by Manuel DeLeon
​Tallahassee, FL – Not a cloud was in the sky as the 2017 version of the Florida State Seminoles took the field for their annual Garnet and Gold spring football game, with the Gold team coming out victorious 17-7. Coming off a 10-3 record and No. 8 ranking in the final coach’s poll, the Noles looked to build on last year’s success as well as fill holes at positions of need. A year after losing 7 starters (5 offense 2 defense), Florida State used the spring to identify those players ready to step up and contribute once the regular season rolls around.

All eyes were on Deondre Francois, and the quarterback position as coach Fisher wanted to see if Francois would distance himself from the pack. Francois, without a full arsenal of weapons, flashed glimpses of brilliance leading the Gold team to victory. He moved very well in the pocket and ran when needed, showing great versatility as both a runner and passer. Francois finished with 133 yards and 1 touchdown on 28 attempts. Redshirt Junior quarterback J.J. Cosentino, turned in a solid performance of his own, leading the Garnet team with 110 yards on 22 attempts.

Florida State, the only team outside of Alabama to finish in the top 25 every year since 2010, will look to its stable of running backs to help replace the productivity and dominance of Dalvin Cook. Coach Fisher believes he has multiple guys that can contribute in carrying the load. Leading the pack would be Junior running back Jacques Patrick who showed what he’s capable of last year in relief of Cook. Running strong for the Gold team Patrick racked up 64 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Incoming freshman running back Cam Akers showed why he’s considered one of the top prospect in this class. Behind a line not playing a full-strength Akers was able to crank out 87 on 10 carries with 35 of those yards coming on a monstrous run up the middle. Though Patrick and Akers got the bulk of the work, coach Fisher believes he has a stable of capable running ready to step in at any time “He (Akers) and Jacques and all those guys. (Jonathan)Vickers had a nice day, Vickers had a couple of really nice runs. You even saw (Gabe)Nabers catch a ball, and when you get (Amir) Rasul when he’s going healthy that’ll be a good group there too, he’s very talented”

Physicality is the name of the game, and that’s what Fisher preached all spring, and a few players took it to heart. Returning to the defensive line up is Mr. Versatility himself Redshirt Sophomore DB Derwin James, who was all over the place for the Noles notched 2 sacks to go along with 7 tackles. Getting in on the act were fellow DB’s Redshirt Senior Nate Andrews and Redshirt Freshman Kameron House tallying 4 and 6 tackles respectively. With the Defensive backs locking down the Wide receivers, the Nole Defensive line was able to pin its ears back and get after both Francois and Cosentino for 12 sacks. Brian Burns led the Noles with 3 sacks which directly correlates to the trouble on the offensive line. Fisher knows the importance of a great defense “I’d much rather be ahead on defense right now, which I think we are, but overall it was a good physical day. Thought there were a lot of good hits today.”

Coach Fisher has the Seminoles pointed in the right direction heading into fall camp. The physicality and leadership displayed today must carry over into the season if they want to challenge for a National Championship, when the Noles open their season against Alabama in Atlanta September 2nd.

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