FSU newcomers praise Josh Storms, strength and conditioning staff

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 1:04 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida State’s 2021 football season kicks off in exactly 60 days when it hosts Notre Dame on September 5 at Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Seminoles’ incoming recruiting class ranked 23rd in the nation, and five members of that group spoke to the media Wednesday morning for the first time since arriving in early June.

One of the overarching themes from the session was the praise strength and conditioning coach Josh Storms and the rest of the training staff drew from the five players. Several of them have added substantial bulk since arriving on campus.

Shyheim Brown, a three-star ATH from Lake City (Fla.) Columbia mentioned that he dreaded doing front squats in high school and that they would frequently cause some discomfort in his back. Since coming to Florida State, Storms has helped Brown refine his technique and he has become exponentially more comfortable with the exercise.

Brown played all over the field on defense during his prep-level career, spending time at cornerback, safety and linebacker. Florida State defensive coordinator Adam Fuller has mainly played Brown at safety since he’s arrived.

Four-star defensive lineman Shambre Jackson, one of four top-300 players in Florida State’s 2021 class, also spoke Wednesday morning. Jackson came to Tallahassee in June at 255 pounds but said he’s added five pounds since being on campus.

“(Coach Storms’) staff is amazing,” Jackson said. “His staff is pushing me to be my best every day. They’re helping me learn different techniques in the weight room, like new stuff.”

Jackson added that he does not have a specific weight in mind at which he is hoping to play this season. Florida State is excited about the versatility he offers up front. If Jackson continues to fill out his frame, the Orlando (Fla.) Boone native could potentially slide inside for the Seminoles, while still being a factor on the edge.

Four-star linebacker Patrick Payton says he has gained about 10-15 pounds since arriving at Florida State. Payton’s official measurables right now are 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, but he said he is closer to 230 now.

The Miami (Fla.) Northwestern native was a one-time Nebraska commit and said Randy Shannon played a significant role in his decision to eventually attend Florida State.

Shannon was most recently was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at UCF and won the 2001 Frank Broyles Award as the defensive coordinator at Miami, given to honor the top assistant coach in college football. Florida State hired him as a senior defensive analyst in April.

So far, Payton has practiced at both defensive end and outside linebacker.

Byron Turner said he too has added a considerable amount of bulk since being on campus. The three-star defensive lineman out of New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine weighed in at 227 pounds when he arrived in Tallahassee. Turner said his goal is to be at around 250 pounds when the season begins and that he is close to that number now.

The last newcomer to speak Wednesday morning was three-star edge, George Wilson, out of Virginia Beach (Va.) Green Run.

Wilson came to campus relatively thin at 189 pounds, but he said he is over 200 now.

“When I came here it was kind of hard, just the eating, but now it’s like you get used to it, eating a lot of meals a day,” Wilson said. “Just eating a lot and knowing what to put in my body. I’ve been going to the nutritionists like every week, knowing what to put in my body, and I’m just learning.”

Of the five newcomers that spoke Wednesday, Wilson’s hometown is the farthest from Tallahassee. Much has been said about how difficult it was for coaches to recruit players during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was an unprecedented situation for players as well. Prospects were not permitted to visit campuses for 15 months and the vast majority of interactions between coaches and players came via Zoom calls.

Wilson mentioned several times that the genuineness of the Florida State coaches over Zoom calls stood out during his recruitment. He also said he’s a person who enjoys trying new things and that coming to Florida State was an opportunity for him to expand outside of his comfort zone.

“It’s just an honor to be at Florida State,” Wilson said. “It’s been great. I’ve been learning new things. I mean, it’s just a different culture out here and I love that about this.”

Wilson has practiced at the Fox position in Fuller’s defense. In other words, he is working as a standup defensive end who is an edge setter. That was primarily the role he filled in high school, where he primarily rushed from a stand-up, two-point stance.

Wilson also played basketball in high school and held several mid-major offers in that sport too. He should continue to add bulk throughout his time at Florida State, as he already has begun to do.

It was also notable that each of the newcomers, when asked about their involvement in any name, image and likeness activities, said that they have not pursued any deals yet, nor have they spent much time thinking about the subject to this point.

The rest of the 2021 signees will speak to the media next Wednesday.

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