Observations: Florida State's offense looks better after second spring scrimmage

Antwan Staley
Tallahassee Democrat

After the second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, Florida State's football team hit the practice fields on Monday afternoon. 

Coming off a scrimmage with pads, it was a bit more relaxing day for the players as they practiced in shorts. While there weren't any hard-hitting tackles, FSU's offense looked better than it did during the scrimmage. 

One of the players who stood out on Monday and has looked improved this spring is running back Lawrence Toafili. While Jashaun Corbin has been praised for his work this spring, Toafili has made a number of long runs in practices, along with catching the ball well out of the backfield. 

Coming into the spring, Toafili says he wanted to work on several things to improve his game. 

"Wanted to get stronger in the pass blocking area," Toafili said. "Just expand my game any way I can. Definitely running routes because I always ran routes but not as well as I am now. So I just wanted to get better with that also. And just getting bigger and stronger and faster." 

As a true freshman, Toafili accumulated 476 all-purpose yards - he gained 356 yards and two touchdowns on 37 rushes and 120 yards on 12 receptions in eight games. FSU co-Offense Freshman of the Year finished the 2020 season on a high note as he led the team with season-high 117 rushing yards with one touchdown on seven carries in the season finale 56-35 win against Duke. 

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With running back room one of the team's strengths, FSU coaches will look to use Toafili in many different ways. 

"He's gotten stronger, definitely getting faster," FSU running backs coach David Johnson said. "He's a really mature kid. He's getting a better understanding of the offense overall. And one thing about him — you could put him anywhere.

"He is going to be a matchup problem. We can split him out, put him in the backfield. Whenever we put the ball in his hand, he's going to make something happen. He continues to get better, he wants to get better. He knows he’s a long way away, but he wants that."

Travis continues to look much improved

This spring, FSU quarterback Jordan Travis continues to look like he has a better grasp of the offense than last season. 

During 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills on Monday, Travis anticipated his receivers being open and got them the ball where they could only catch it. Also, before the pressure got to him, Travis used his legs to create big gains for the Seminoles' offense. That was only after Travis went through all of his downfield progressions. 

FSU head coach Mike Norvell says he has been impressed with Travis' recent development.

"His continued as he has confidence in what we are asking him to do as he is establishing great rhythm with his feet and how to get the ball out," Norvell said. "He's staying consistent in those fundamentals. 

"His best days are ahead of him. You said the development that he had in a one-year period of time. He has definitely continued to get better in all aspects, and I'm just excited to see where he's at and also where he's going." 

Travis is competing for the FSU starting quarterback job along with McKenzie Milton and Tate Rodemaker. While none of the three have stood out consistently in the spring, Travis has good chemistry with the FSU receivers. 

During 11-on-11 drills, Travis is using more of the middle of the field in his passing game, something he didn't do a lot of in 2020. 

"He's playing good football," Norvell said of Travis. "The addition of Milton has been good for this football team. I think those guys have a great relationship as they're pushing each other. You can see the back and forth comradery as they're always keeping that edge by helping the young quarterbacks as well." 

Up Next

FSU will return to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon. This will be the last time the team is out on the field until after the Easter holiday. The Seminoles' next scheduled practice following the holiday is Tuesday, April 6. 

FSU will also practice on Thursday, April 8, ahead of its spring game on April 10 at 5 p.m. 

Reach Antwan Staley at astaley@tallahassee.com or follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

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