Camp Notes

<b> Chris Bradwell</b> is trying to make the most of his free time. But that's not to say he's just kicking back and chilling. Far from it. You can find Bradwell's nose buried in Florida State's defensive playbook each night. "It has been going great," Bradwell said following Florida State's Friday practice. "My focus is learning the plays. Once I get them down, I will be fine and I will be able to get out there and play as soon as possible." Click here for Friday's news and notes.

Chris Bradwell is trying to make the most of his free time. But that's not to say he's just kicking back and chilling. Far from it.

You can find Bradwell's nose buried in Florida State's defensive playbook each night.

"It has been going great," Bradwell said following the Seminoles' Friday practice. "My focus is learning the plays. Once I get them down, I will be fine and I will be able to get out there and play as soon as possible."

Bradwell opened practice at noseguard but was moved to defensive tackle Thursday and is currently providing depth behind Darnell Dockett. Bradwell, who attended Hargrave Military Academy last season, feels comfortable with the switch.

He was a standout interior lineman at Chattahoochee High School in Georgia, recording 85 tackles and 11 sacks as a senior. Bradwell was also noted for his athleticism as well, catching eight passes for 150 yards at tight end.

Bradwell, however, has had to switch at least one gear since arriving at FSU. Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins wants Bradwell to increase his bulk.

"I was trying to lose weight but now coach wants me to gain it," Bradwell said and smiled.

"I was 268 this morning, 271 yesterday. He wants me up around 280 or so. That will be fine. I started off at the nose for two days and they moved me to tackle yesterday. I like it. I played tackle in high school. I was a defensive end at Hargrave. There's not much of a difference but at end you have to contain more."

Bradwell says Dockett, who was nearly unstoppable in one-on-one blocking drills with the offensive line Friday, has been a wealth of knowledge.

"He's helping me every way he can -- I am just listening and trying to soak it all up and learning something new every day," Bradwell said.

"I came in pretty good shape, so I am feeling pretty good. I just want to contribute. We have a lot of talent (defensive interior). Everybody is going to be good, and everyone is rotating in and out and that's only going to help us."

TAKING IT EASY

Due to inexperience along the offensive line, the Seminoles are taking a deliberate approach installing their offense.

"We have freshmen who are still learning a lot and we have some younger guys who didn't play last year and they still have to learn a lot of things," tight guard Bobby Meeks said. " I think their progress is pretty good. They are doing a lot better than I was when I was a freshman."

Meeks says the unit continues to focus on mechanics and fundamentals. While the Seminoles' playbook hasn't changed, the coaching staff has tweaked certain areas to help the newcomers. FSU is expected to begin preparing for North Carolina next week.

"They have kind of watered down the playbook for the younger ones because we don't have as much depth as we used to have," Meeks said.

"He's kind of watering it down for them so they can understand it better. The plays are the same, it's just the scheme. But I think everyone is doing well. We just need to keep after it."

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Kendyll Pope is a happy camper. After missing spring drills following shoulder surgery, Pope is all smiles on the Seminoles' practice field.

"Man, everybody is looking good," Pope said. "But you know how it is the first couple of days. Everyone is a little rusty. I know I am rusty because I haven't been out here since the Sugar Bowl. I am feeling great."

Pope and fellow seniors Michael Boulware and Allen Augustin give the Seminoles three quality -- and speedy -- starters at linebacker. Pope, however, encourages FSU fans to keep an eye on FSU's young linebackers, namely incoming freshman Ernie Sims.

"That Ernie is going to be a monster," Pope said and laughed.

"I have had to tell him to slow down a couple times. It's like, ‘Man, we are just starting (laughing).' He's going to be a monster, something special. But that's the thing with our young guys. You have guys like Ernie, Buster (Davis), A.J. (Nicholson), Sam (McGrew), all these guys can play.

"I know I am excited about it because they give us quality depth. When we get winded, they can come in and keep that level of play right there. Next year I wouldn't be surprised if this group as a whole is considered one of the best in the country. All those guys have good athletic ability."

A smiling Pope also said the unit is extremely excited about the unit's new scheme under first-year coach Kevin Steele.

"It's going to play to our strengths since we plan on blitzing more," Pope said.

"That's what everyone is so excited about. Look at your three starters, you have three guys who can run a 4.4, 4.5 40. Now it's just a matter of still being disciplined but making sure we get to the quarterback to force him into a mistake and us helping out our secondary. We just have so much speed across the board (at linebacker)."

STRONGER LEG

Running backs coach Billy Sexton had to do a double-take when he saw Xavier Beita report for camp earlier this week. Beita, who has led the Seminoles in scoring in each of his first two seasons, has slimmed down considerably.

"Xavier is kicking the ball better than he ever has," Sexton said.

"He's in great condition. He's stronger. He's booming the ball. And (freshman) Chase Goggans is kicking the ball better this time (compared to spring). And (Joey) Kaleikini is working as the holder and he's doing very well also."

A HOT ONE

The heat was on Friday -- 89 degrees with a heat index of 115 on the practice fields. Incoming freshman D.J. Norris and fullback James Coleman were helped to the sidelines with heat-related issues. Also, Notre Dame transfer Matt Root, who must sit out this season, also has been slowed by the heat.


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