10 noteworthy performances from FSU’s Spring Showcase
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Noles247) - Florida State’s annual spring game, err…showcase, didn’t have official stats. And I honestly couldn’t tell you the score.
But I can tell you who stood out.
The Seminoles had some good back-and-forth during the afternoon. Mike Norvell liked that the defense had dominant stretches, and then the offense would respond with some explosives or steady drives.
And the blend of veterans performing well with underclassmen also flashing was encouraging. It shows the depth and balanced distribution of this roster.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 individual performances that stood out on Saturday…
LB KALEN DELOACH
It feels like Kalen DeLoach has been ascending the last couple weeks. Coach Adam Fuller noted that the veteran linebacker maybe wasn’t playing his best football to start the spring, but felt like he’s put together some bright moments as of late.
His energy and speed are what FSU needs, Mike Norvell said after the game. And DeLoach showed why on Saturday.
DeLoach had a good interception to start the main series, dropping into a zone and reading Jordan Travis’ eyes as he scanned to a TE on a break out. The speed and athleticism to get to the ball, secure it, and return it for what likely would’ve been a touchdown in a real game stood out.
And DeLoach struck again later in the day. He did a remarkable job getting to the perimeter and making a stop on 4th and short as the ball went outside to RB Rodney Hill. He ended up forcing a fumble and recovered it, taking it back for what would’ve been a score.
This came after a Thursday practice in which DeLoach was all over the place from a coverage standpoint.
It’s clear that DeLoach is a major piece of this defense, and he can be a game-changer when he’s playing his best ball.
WR KENTRON POITIER
Alex Atkins made a great point about Kentron Poitier after the contest: Quarterbacks are quickly looking his way when they see him in 1-on-1 situations.
That’s a testament to Poitier’s consistency this spring. Quarterbacks are trusting him and are making it a point to get the fourth-year receiver the ball, a lot.
Saturday was representative of the entire spring for Poitier. Had had a touchdown catch on a corner pattern (what a pass from Jordan Travis), an athletic one-handed snag while working downfield, and a key block about 40 yards away from the line of scrimmage to help RB Lawrance Toafili get into the end-zone.
It was the complete, steady performance to cap off an excellent spring for Poitier.
DE BYRON TURNER
There’s still a lot of variance to Byron Turner.
Good moments and moments where he takes himself out of plays with high pad level or over-aggressive pursuit.
But those good moments, they remind you that, yeah, there’s a heck of an athlete there.
Case in point: Turner had two sacks in two plays during a short stretch on Saturday.
The first was a rollout that he took a wide angle into, which was advantageous. But the second was an exemplary play in which the burst and control off the edge made him nearly impossible to block.
He has to clean up on the technique still to get to a point where FSU can trust Turner to get in for multiple series a game. But the upside is clear, and FSU is going to keep investing reps to develop Turner into a rotational player, and perhaps an eventual starter with high upside.
DT DARRELL JACKSON
He didn’t play a ton, but Darell Jackson flashed when he was in the game.
The first-team defense really didn’t give up much with Jackson in the rotation. Length and strength, those are at the core of Jackson’s game. And the two traits showed up on the very first series as he completely shut down forward movement from All-ACC OL DMitri Emmanuel and got an outstretched hand on a running back to help corral/end a play.
Jackson was one of several interior DL to stand out. Second-year DTs Daniel Lyons and Ayobami Tifase created pressure with their strength/athleticism combo, and Josh Farmer got into the backfield a few times as well along with Dennis Briggs.
RB RODNEY HILL
Rodney Hill had a fumble in the game that led to a turnover.
After that, Atkins noted how the second-year back emphasized protecting the ball on his runs while also moving with more physicality and decisiveness.
That’s the sort of response FSU wanted to see from Hill, and what it’s come to expect. His touchdown reception on a wheel pattern was the same concept in which he dropped a pass on Thursday.
Hill had a couple of scores on the ground and got better as the day went on. In truth, I thought all the backs -- CJ Campbell, Lawrance Toafili, Trey Benson -- had some nice moments.
QB TATE RODEMAKER
Think about how far Tate Rodemaker has come in a couple years.
Remember when he was so anxious in the 2021 spring game that he wouldn’t throw the ball?
Well his poise and confidence to take – and make – big throws downfield was on display from the first full drive of the scrimmage. It’s a reminder that Rodemaker has some unique arm talent. There was one play where he threw off-platform and narrow-footed, yet still put a perfect ball about 30 yards downfield to a running back while rolling to his left.
I like that we’ve seen steady growth from Rodemaker. Still not as consistent as you’d like, but the lows aren’t nearly as low as they once were and you’re seeing the highs more often. Basically, I think he makes the right decision in bad situations on a more consistent basis.
QB BROCK GLENN
Here’s what you have to like about Brock Glenn: There were some wasted plays with bad throws (like, just throws that didn’t get to the right place). But it didn’t cause him to spiral.
FSU kept throwing Glenn out there, sometimes against the 1s, and Glenn kept on chipping away. His day ended with his best drive, it’s always good to end on a high note. Glenn hit fellow freshman Vandervius Jacobs down the sideline – Jacobs took the ball and worked downfield after the catch to get FSU into the red-zone – and then capitalized on the success with a nice, quick out pattern to Hykeem Williams for a score on the very next play.
OL BLESS HARRIS
I’ll have to go back and watch line play more closely, but it felt like Bless Harris was very in control any time I watched him.
He’s had a very steady back stretch of the spring.
CB QUINDARRIUS JONES
Fuller praised Jones’ spring after the scrimmage, noting how well the freshman has done when the ball comes his way. Quindarrius Jones has taken to coaching rapidly, and is playing with confidence and physicality already.
The rookie came away with an interception today and was consistently around the ball. A lot of good to work on here for the freshman.
DE JARED VERSE
Jared Verse. That’s it.
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