Notebook: FSU’s skill players have UF’s attention

0
2896
Florida defensive back Brad Stewart Jr. (2) attempts to tackle Florida State running back Cam Akers during last year's game in Tallahassee. The Gators won, 41-14. [File]

 Florida State has some explosive playmakers on offense, led by wide receiver Tamorrion Terry and running back Cam Akers, and they have the full attention of Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

 “They’re really talented,” Grantham said. “They’ve got a couple runners who are good players, you give them a seam they can create double-digit runs. They’ve got skill outside and can win the 50-50 balls in the one-on-one matchups. I think their quarterback is a good player. I know they’ve played a few guys there, but No. 1 (James Blackman) is a guy that’s impressed me with his play. We’re going to have to play.”

 Grantham said he’s going to keep hammering home to his players the fact that the Seminoles are very capable, very dangerous, on offense.

 “For example, when we went to Missouri we emphasized the weather, the time of day we were playing, the environment,” he said. “It wasn’t going to be like playing at LSU, but it still matters, you know what I’m saying? So you had to emphasize all of that when we went there.

 “Here you have to emphasize the quality of players that they have, the explosive ability that they have and this is a big game for them, as well as us. We still have a lot riding on the game. It’s going to affect the kind of bowl we can go to, and it’s our seniors last chance to play in this stadium. It’s really the last time this team is going to play in that stadium and we want to make sure we end on a high mark.”

Longtime roomies

 A wide receiver and a linebacker rooming together may seem like an odd couple, but Josh Hammond and David Reese have made it work. The two have lived together since they first arrived on campus and have become great friends.

 “I feel like just based on how we were raised,” Reese said. “Our parents did a phenomenal job with both of us. We have the same type of background. We just clicked as guys. He’s a real reliable guy. He does what he needs to do. 

 “I feel he’s like myself, he just tries to do things right. Great friend. That’s my roommate. We’ve been roommates since we’ve first got here. It was me, Chauncey (Gardner-Johnson), Jachai (Polite) and Jordan Smith. All of those guys, we just had a great relationship. Lifelong friends like that.”

 Hammond said Reese is a great roommate and friend, but an even greater player.

 “He works really hard,” Hammond said. “I’ve lived with Reese since day one. We still live together so I probably know him better than anybody on this football team. He works really hard. He loves the game of football a lot. He has a lot of passion about this game and he really wants to be successful.

 “He’ll put everything to the side; what he eats, the things he does outside of the building, to make sure he can put himself in position to be successful. And I think his work ethic and the way he goes about his business has definitely prepared him and allowed him to play the way he’s played here at the University of Florida. He’s a great person to be around.”

More on the draft

 Junior quarterback Kyle Trask revealed Monday that he’s returning for his senior season. Another top underclassman, defensive tackle Kyree Campbell, said he’s not thinking about the NFL one way or the other at the moment.

 “No I’m not really focused on that at all, I’m focused on finishing out the season right now,” he said.

 Campbell has had a solid junior season, starting all 11 games and recording 21 tackles, 1.5 tackles for losses and a fumble recovery. 

 UF coach Dan Mullen met with the draft eligible underclassmen last week to go over the process of supplying the NFL with information to get an evaluation of what their draft grade might be.

 Grantham participated.

 “Yeah, I talked to a few of the guys, just about understanding this is obviously a big decision,” he said. “You’ve got to do what’s best for you and your family as you move forward in your career. Just try to give them as much information as you can to make a sound decision that allows you to be productive in your career whatever you do. So, we’ll continue those discussions and see how it shakes out.”