3 questions facing FSU heading into spring football game

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Chris Hays, Orlando Sentinel
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FSU wraps up spring football camp with an abbreviated format for it’s annual spring game beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium. The format will feature two quarters of offense versus defense, and the second half of the event will incorporate some guest coaches into the mix.

This will be second-year head coach Mike Norvell’s first spring game at FSU, having had the majority of last year’s spring session wiped out due to COVID-19 after just three practices.

There are a number of things Norvell will be looking at Saturday, although two quarters of football will provide for limited evaluation. Things to watch:

1. Consistent energy: Norvell expressed concern this week about consistency in the areas of energy and enthusiasm. He said earlier this week he looks at things such as effort and body language, and he was not pleased with some of the inconsistencies he saw. Norvell said he has seen progress, but from a snap-to-snap viewpoint, he’d like to see much more consistency. He said the standard at FSU needs to be much higher.

2. Defensive backs. The defensive backfield was a definite weak spot last season. Of the 127 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, the Seminoles ranked No. 98 nationally, giving up 257 yards per game. They’ll need to find replacements for cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. and safety Hamsah Nasirildeen, both of whom declared early as juniors for the NFL Draft. Injuries to versatile Akeem Dent and cornerback Renardo Green have slowed their progress. Cornerback Brandon Moore, a transfer from UCF, and injured cornerback Meiko Dotson could also become key factors in the DB equation. Cornerbacks Jarrian Jones, and Jarvis Brownlee Jr., and safety Travis Jay will likely play big roles.

3. Quarterbacks. Redshirt sophomore Travis Jordan comes in as the frontrunner for the job after starting six games a year ago, and redshirt freshman Tate Rodemaker has had a good camp. The big mystery, however, remains to be the progress of UCF transfer McKenzie Milton, who is looking to make a big splash in his final year of eligibility. It’s hard to say how many reps Milton will get Saturday, but he’ll likely get his share. His progress learning the FSU offense will be a big factor in his playing time.