TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 12th-ranked Florida State football team continued preparation for its Sept. 2 season-opener at Pittsburgh Thursday with a two-hour practice in shoulder pads and helmets for the first time this preseason.
Practice Quotes – Thursday, August 08, 2013
Head coach Jimbo Fisher
“It was a good day with some pads on; got some banging around. Guys moved around fairly well. I still liked the intensity, we have to execute a little better but you got a lot of new guys mixed in with the older guys. We got a lot of reps in; got a lot of different looks – I was very proud of that offensively and defensively. It was a good day on special teams; we have some nice return guys. I like some of those young guys, they are really talented and they have a chance to help us at different positions. I am not going to say who yet, but I’m seeing some guys that have a chance. It was a typical third day, long way to go but very happy with where we are at right now.”
On the return of RB Mario Pender to practice:
“We got Mario back; he was back out at practice today. He is doing well. He didn’t have shoulder pads on as it was his first day, but he got his reps. He looked quick and very athletic. He is going to be a big piece of the puzzle this year.”
On the status of WR Willie Haulstead:
“He did not make it academically. Haulstead will be out; he will not be with us. You hate it (for him) because you press him and the guy has been here for so long. He has done some good things that could have really helped us at times. We have a lot depth there, a lot of good players but still you want to make sure he finds a way to get back and get his degree.”
On meeting FSU’s new AD Stan Wilcox:
“I did briefly just about 10 minutes before we did a walk through. A very nice guy; I look forward to working with him. He has got a lot of experience. (I) know some people that worked with him; they like him and spoke very highly of him. I am happy that he is here.”
On the play of Giorgio Newberry at TE:
“I really like what he is doing there. I really like him. He learns, energetic; a lot more athletic down the field, catching the ball and doing things. He has been a really good surprise in terms of how quick he has jumped on. Now I thought he would be good, but he has got a hold of it pretty quickly.”
Thursday Camp Notebook
Freshman TE Jeremy Kerr was sidelined Thursday and is expected to miss at least a month if not longer with a bruised knee, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said at the conclusion of practice. Kerr was injured Wednesday, but his MRI did not reveal a major injury and Fisher expects him to return in time to contribute on offense.
Redshirt freshman tailback Mario Pender practiced for the first time this preseason. “He didn’t have any shoulder pads on as it was his first day, but he got his reps,” Fisher said. “He looked very quick and athletic. He is going to be a big piece of the puzzle this year.”
Fisher also announced that redshirt senior WR Willie Haulstead has been declared academically ineligible and will not play for the Seminoles in 2013.
The freshmen wide receiver trio of Isaiah Jones, Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield and Jesus Wilson drew the praise of Fisher, who has been impressed by both their maturity and how they conduct themselves during practice and meetings in addition to their talent and ability. He mentioned that all of them have a shot to make key contributions to the football team, either on offense or special teams.
The Seminoles will continue preseason camp Friday with a 4:55 p.m. practice session at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility.
The 2013 Florida State Football Media Day will be held on Sunday, August 11 from 9:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. in the Moore Center. Players and coaches will then bus to the Donald L. Tucker Center for Fan Day, which begins at noon. The team will return to Doak Campbell Stadium for a 4:15 p.m. practice that is both free and open to the public.