Rising junior Jalen Ramsey excelling at cornerback
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State held its first scrimmage of the spring on Monday at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility.
The threat of severe weather forced the scrimmage indoors, but that did not temper the play of the Seminoles in what was a very physical practice.
“I liked the energy level in the scrimmage,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Thought it was very physical both sides, some good situational play. You saw some young guys take advantage of opportunities.”
As part of the scrimmage, FSU practiced “good-on-good” and worked on several specific situations, such as goal line packages and two-minute drills.
Fisher said scrimmages are important to see how players react without coaches over their shoulder telling them what to do.
“You are out there on the field and you’ve got your know your assignment,” Fisher said. “All of a sudden I get the heck knocked out of you or I make a mistake and what am I going to do the next play and how am I going to – that poise and composure I have – then how are you going to compete? You’ve got to turn in it loose and see the toughness and effort they will play with.”
Ramsey Excelling at Cornerback
Jalen Ramsey’s new position at cornerback doesn’t offer the same vantage point that he once had as FSU’s safety or nickel back, so he had a limited view of Monday’s scrimmage.
But he could tell enough from the Seminoles’ post-practice huddle to know that it went about as expected: plenty of good developments coupled with plenty of room to get better.
“Coach Fisher said that we did good things,” Ramsey said. “He saw good things out of us, but we also have to improve. And I believe it.”
Ramsey said that his move to corner was made in concert with the coaching staff, and that he’d had his eyes on a switch since the end of last season.
An injury to starter Ronald Darby in last year’s ACC Championship Game forced Ramsey to the outside and then-freshman Trey Marshall into Ramsey’s old spot at the “Star” nickel position.
The switch went well that night, and with FSU’s top two corners from 2014 (Darby and P.J. Williams) now preparing for the NFL draft, it seemed an obvious decision to make the move permanent.
And Ramsey is just fine with that.
“I love corner,” Ramsey said. “That’s where I always wanted to be. … I can focus on myself and do my job to my best ability to help this team out. I feel like when I’m at corner, I can eliminate whatever receiver I’m on.”
Hoefeld Out After Knee Surgery
Fisher confirmed after Monday’s scrimmage that redshirt sophomore center Ryan Hoefeld, a third-year sophomore, recently had knee surgery to repair his meniscus. He is expected to miss the rest of spring practice.
Hoefeld started four games in 2014 and was among the candidates to replace departed All-American Cameron Erving this year.
In his absence, redshirt freshmen Corey Martinez and Alec Eberle rotated at center during the scrimmage. Fisher said that each player had a few growing pains, but that overall he was pleased with their performances.
“For the first scrimmage as a center and doing that, they did pretty good,” he said.
Voice of the Seminoles Gene Deckerhoff Named Nelson Award Winner
The Knoxville(TN) Quarterback Club has named Gene Deckerhoff the recipient of the 2014 Lindsay Nelson Broadcasting Award. Named after the legendary national sportscaster that began his 50+ year career in the sports broadcasting profession as the Voice of the Tennessee Volunteers in 1948.
The Lindsay Nelson Award has been bestowed by the Knoxville QB Club since 1998 to “broadcasters that exemplify a passion for broadcasting during his or her career”. Gene joins a host of sports broadcasting legends that have received the award in past years, including Keith Jackson, Lee Corso, Larry Munson, Verne Lundquist, Chris Schenkel, Ron Franklin and John Ward.
Gene will accept the award in Knoxville during UT Weekend on April 25.
Former Head Coach of Appalachian State, Jerry Moore, will be honored as this year’s recipient of the General Robert R. Neyland Trophy, which is presented annually in memory of the Hall of Fame football coach by the Knoxville QB Club to “an outstanding man who has contributed greatly to intercollegiate athletics”.
Previous honorees include Bobby Bowden, John McKay, and Bear Bryant among many others.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher Post-Scrimmage Quotes
“I liked the energy level in the scrimmage. Thought it was very physical both sides, some good situational play. You saw some young guys take advantage of opportunities. I like the way the backs really ran the football today. Thought our pass rush game and some things we did on third down on defense were really good. Created some pressures. I thought Sean (Maguire) played really well today. Thought he played really efficient and made plays down the field. Did exactly was he was supposed to do. Very pleased with his performance today. Some of those young wide outs did OK. Defensively, Jalen (Ramsey) jumped out there. Saw him; saw Jacob Pugh get a couple of nice sacks. Overall, I liked the way the offense ran the football. I really thought they were physical and ran it. I though the defense did some nice things in the passing game but the offense made some plays, too. It was a pretty back and forth, even scrimmage. I thought it was pretty even.”
On what he is looking for in the first scrimmage of the spring:
“First of all somebody’s urgency, has a passion to be good, has a passion to earn a job, will compete in the game, will make a play, good or bad and repeat it again. Consistency and some maturity out of guys. Those young guys that you see flashes that, not only do you see their ability, but then they really understand the concepts of what they are doing, offense but defensively and competing very hard. I did see that today. We can be a very physical football team.”
On what you saw out of Sean Maguire:
“Made throws down the field from the start of the scrimmage to the end. Completed balls, went with the ball; smart, accurate with the ball. Scrambled, stepped up in the pocket, some pocket presence, did a nice job of sliding and getting the ball out even with pressure throwing it away. I like what I saw out of him today. You always want to get better, but I like where he’s at, I really do. Not from just a management stand point but from a making plays standpoint. He’s growing. I really like where he’s at.”
On what scrimmages allows you to see:
“One, you don’t have the pacifier – the coach over their shoulder – telling them what to do all the time. You are out there on the field and you’ve got your know your assignment. All of a sudden I get the heck knocked out of you or I make a mistake and what am I going to do the next play and how am I going to – that poise and composure I have – then how are you going to compete? You’ve got to turn in it loose and the toughness and effort they will play with.”
On how much you can correct during a scrimmage:
“That’s the one thing I learned a long time ago. You’ve got to let them play. Sometimes you can over coach them. They have to get out there on the field by themselves that what the other six practices are for. We’ve got to learn to turn them loose. If you don’t ever let them have success and failures you never know what you are going to get when the fall comes. It is hard, yes. But I have learned that long time ago that you have to let them go.”
Sophomore Tackle Roderick Johnson Post-Practice Quotes:
On the running game being successful in the first scrimmage of spring practice:
“Yeah I feel the same. Just do your job, that’s all we can do, we stressed that, doing our job. (We) went out there and did our job, opened the holes up for the running backs and I guess we ran the ball pretty well today.”
On whether he feels good about offensive line after losing four starters from last season:
“Oh yeah. Since we lost four starters, offensive line unit wise, we know that there is every position up for grabs. With that being said, it drives everybody to go harder in practice, to make sure everything you do technique wise, alignment, assignment, technique wise is good that we can allow Coach (Rick) Trickett to put us in the spot that he can trust us just as more if not more than the four that left.”
On now being the veteran of the offensive line group:
“It ain’t much different. They eased me into it but now they’re saying they expect more from me and they expect me to be the leader. All I do is be out there and do my job and if anybody needs help, I do my job and help them do their job but you know out everybody pretty much holds their own, and we’ve got each other’s back.”
On being in high school this time last year:
“Yeah, yeah I was, but it’s not too much of a transition. You know, the speed of the game there’s a big difference and the power of the game there was a big difference, but the way we’ve trained here and what we do here, it’s pretty easy to adapt if you really want to adapt and be great.”
Junior cornerback Jalen Ramsey Post-Practice Quotes:
On the scrimmage:
“Coach Fisher said he saw a lot of good things although we still have improvements to make. When you’re at corner you just kind of focus on your (receiver) and the person you’re guarding and yourself, really. I don’t really get the view like I had when I was at safety and star. I really can’t speak on everybody, but Coach Fisher said that we did good things, he saw good things out of us. But we also have to improve. And I believe it. “
On playing cornerback?
“I love corner. That’s where I always wanted to be. Of course I had great corners here before me, so as a team necessity I didn’t need to be at corner. But I’m more than happy to be at corner. That’s what I love and where I want to be.”
On what you like about playing cornerback:
“I can focus on myself and do my job to my best ability to help this team out. I feel like when I’m at corner, I can eliminate whatever receiver I’m on. Eliminate that, let everybody else do their job. We’re going to worry about the other team, but I know when I’m on my person, I’m going to eliminate him.”
On how the switch came about:
“Last year I kind of started prepping for it. Toward the end of the year I started practicing at corner. In the Georgia Tech game, I played corner when (Ronald) Darby went down. (Fisher) has always known that’s where my heart’s at. That’s where I want to be. That’s what I came to Florida State to play. It was just the right time for the move”.
On if playing cornerback brings out the competitor in you:
“Y’all know me. I’m probably the biggest competitor on this team. I know when I line up against whoever it is – I don’t care if it’s the best receiver in the country or whoever, the worst receiver in the country, he’s not going to beat me. That’s just how I am. And that’s why I love it.”