Florida State comes into the season with extremely high expectations. They are being consistently ranked inside the Top-5 of most preseason rankings. They have one of the most talented rosters in the country, and have recruited better than nearly every other school in college football. They also return 17 starters including all 11 on offense.
With the start of camp on Tuesday, there was no focus on those expectations or the experience that the team has according to Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. It was on getting back to the basics, the fundamentals, and focusing on the small details. The same as it always is at the start of camp.
"No, it won't," Fisher said. "Because at the end of the day you've still got to go back to those fundamentals. You've still got to go back to those fundamentals... Football at the end of the day is still blocking and tackling, but you know what? It's still fundamentals. How you lineup, your split, your alignment, where your hand is, where your eyes are, where your head is. It's still how you tackle, how the alignment -- alignment, assignment technique. If you start getting away from fundamentals, you'll never be successful. You'll never be successful.
You've got to establish those fundamentals early and make them over and over. Well, like I say, you don't practice until they do it right. You practice until they do it wrong and that's where fundamentals got to come in."
Fisher's players have bought into that fact. Roderick Johnson, the reigning Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, worked on his fundamentals all summer, and will continue to work on them throughout the camp and season.
"Everything fundamentally," Johnson said. "From my first step, hand placement. Everything with run blocking, pass sets, staying low on things, hip flexibility."
Cornerback Marquez White echoed that statement. He has been working on the small details as well.
"Focus on the details, taking my angle, playing the ball with the right hand, getting my head around," White said. "I can always get better at something."
Florida State will go through a couple more days without full pads due to NCAA regulations. The coaching staff and players will take full advantage of this time to work on those small details that can become big advantages throughout the season.