The Daily Nole

Five Takeaways From FSU Spring Game

Ross Obley/FSU athletics

Saturday’s annual Florida State spring game in Orlando ended in a 24-24 tie. Though it can be difficult to assess much about a team playing against itself, sitting players and wearing non-contact jerseys, there is much to feel good about for FSU fans. Here are five takeaways from the intrasquad contest:

1. FSU’s Future at Quarterback is Bright
With Sean Maguire nursing a foot injury, it was the freshman quarterback show for Florida State on Saturday. Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois and early enrollee Malik Henry each played well for the Seminoles in the contest. Francois overcame a pair of first half interceptions to finish 20-for-33 passing for 246 yards and two touchdown tosses while Henry was 15-for-22 for 205 yards and a pair of scores. Both led scoring drives in the 2-minute offense and made a strong case for playing time in 2016. The one scholarship quarterback for FSU, who did not help his cause was J.J. Consentino. The redshirt sophomore misfired on each of his four pass attempts.

2. Players at New Positions Could Contribute
Three FSU players found themselves on a different side of the football from last spring on Saturday and each showed signs that it was a good move. Chris Casher and Rick Leonard each moved from defensive end. Casher caught one pass for 11 yards at tight end for the Gold team while Leonard held his own at offensive tackle for the Garnet. The most notable player to switch was Ryan Green, who finished with game-highs of 88 yards rushing and 125 yards from scrimmage. Green, who moved back to running back after spending last spring at cornerback, also scored the game’s first touchdown.

3. Linebacker Might Not Be a Huge Vulnerability
Florida State had only five scholarship linebackers in uniform on Saturday, but those who played performed well. Matthew Thomas had three tackles and a sack while Ro’Derrick Hoskins led the Garnet team with seven total tackles, a sack and an interception. Josh Brown, a true freshman, recorded five stops. The Seminoles have three more linebackers coming in for the fall and while depth at the position could be an issue, talent is not.

4. The FSU Secondary is Incredibly Deep
Finding bodies in the secondary won’t be an issue for Florida State in 2016. Though the Seminoles are relatively young at the position, there is plenty of talent. Without senior cornerback Marquez White and sophomore safety Calvin Brewton on the field Saturday, the FSU defensive backs still shined. Derwin James finished with a game-high 9 total tackles while Trey Marshall led the Gold team with seven stops. Sophomores A.J. Westbrook, and Marcus Lewis each played well while Tarvarus McFadden had his moments also. Nate Andrews, the veteran in the secondary, refused to become a forgotten man, finishing with six tackles and an interception in the end zone in Saturday’s spring game.

5. Kicking and Punting Should Again Be Strengths
It was Ricky Aguayo and not Roberto doing the placekicking for FSU on Saturday, but for some fans, it may have been hard to tell the difference. Aguayo knocked home field goals from 45 and 46 yards, including the tying kick as time expired. Conventional wisdom says Logan Tyler will take over the punting duties for the graduating Cason Beatty this season, but Jonathan Hernandez may have earned himself a second look on Saturday. Hernandez averaged 48.2 yards per punt on five boots.

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