For starters, junior receiver Anquan Boldin rode the stationary bicycle and jogged lightly on the sidelines for the first time since suffering a Grade-1 MCL sprain (left knee) in last Saturday's preseason scrimmage.
Also, starting tackle Brett Williams, who suffered a right shoulder sprain in Wednesday's second scrimmage, participated in non-contact drills.
The Seminoles will hold their third and final scrimmage Friday at Doak Campbell Stadium in preparation for their season-opener against Iowa State next Saturday in Kansas City. FSU will practice Saturday morning before breaking for the weekend.
Boldin, of course, missed last season following reconstructive knee surgery when he tore his anterior cruciate ligment in the Seminoles' initial preseason scrimmage. He injured that same knee last Saturday when a teammate collided with him following an interception. Boldin is listed questionable for the opener.
"I was riding the bike and running on it (knee) a little bit today," Boldin said.
"It felt pretty good. I didn't want to do too much on the first day, though. It felt better than I thought, but the trainers told me not to push it too much. We will see how it feels tomorrow, if it's sore or if it swells. If not we will probably do a little more than what we did today. I am not too worried. I am pretty confident it's not too much. A minor sprain. It's like an ankle sprain. Right now I am getting treatment on it, trying to ice it."
Williams, meanwhile, will be held out of contact drills until the Iowa State game. Williams was out of the sling that he wore following Wednesday's scrimmage. Alex Barron also split time with Williams in drills.
"It's a little sore but it's making progress," Williams said. "I was just doing drills – no contact. It wasn't sore as it was when I originally hurt it the first week (two-a-days) the day after. I am pretty sure I will be ready for the game."
Ditto for senior receiver Robert Morgan, who, like Boldin is coming off reconstructive knee surgery. Morgan, who tore a pair of ligaments and had nerve damage, practiced just once each day but says he has made positive strides. Wide out continues to be a concern, especially with Boldin and Craphonso Thorpe out – Thorpe continues to be sidelined by a toe sprain.
"Everything has been coming along real well," Morgan said.
"(I've) been doing one-a-day, so I won't pound it (knee) so much. I should be able to make it through the season, because I am doing one-a-days right now. Just taking a day at a time. I think I am right on schedule. I am starting to really get back into the mix. Randy (Oravetz, director of sports medicine) is just being smart with me, holidng me out of too much. Sometimes I want to try too much. I feel like I am right on schedule. We (receivers) still have a long way to go, though. Just small things we have to get corrected, as far as reads and knowing what to do in certain kind of defenses. We are taking a day at a time. We still have a long season. Every day we want to learn and improve."
Reserve interior lineman Travis Johnson also returned to practice Thursday after aggravating his surgically repaired ankle in last Saturday's scrimmage. Johnson had hoped to play in Wednesday's scrimmage but was held out as a precautionary measure.
"It's a little sore but I feel fine," Johnson said. "Don't worry, I will be ready (for Iowa State)."
Another player who can't wait for the season to begin is senior O.J. Jackson, who has been one of the team's most vocal leaders in preseason drills. The personable Jackson hasn't been without a (gold-toothed) smile since drills started. In Wednesday's scrimmage, Jackson, who has played four positions at FSU, snagged his first reception – 5-yards.
"I caught one (reception) the other day when we were scrimmaging 11-on-11 and I tried to do a cut and I fell on the 5, so I didn't score (a touchdown) – I thought I was in," Jackson said. "But it's fun. It's giving me a lot of inspiration. I feel more comfortable. I have to learn the plays. The blocking assignments is what's hard for me. I am not used to receiving blocks, backing up, letting them attack me. That's the hardest part. I am not used to that."
Jackson admitted about asking the coaching staff to move him back to the interior defensive line following injuries to Jeff Womble and Travis Johnson last Saturday. However, Jackson figured he better stay at tight end, where he hopes to work his way into the rotation behind starter Patrick Hughes and Paul Irons. Matt Henshaw also has looked sharp since moving from quarterback.
"I was thinking about it (moving back to DL following injuries) but I have to see for now how tight end is going to go," Jackson said. "I want to do everything I can to get on the field. I miss defense a lot. Too much. Running around, screaming, having fun, hitting them hard. See, offense is more concentration. Defense, once you know it (technique) you just go get the ball. That's what I am used to. Running around and hitting people. It's a big difference."
Jackson also wants this year to be different. But he realizes the Seminoles must prove themselves on the field.
"Everyone is talking we are preseason No. 3 and No. 4," Jackson said. "It won't show until we get on the field. We know we have a lot of talent, so we have to live up to it and make a name for ourself this year. I am not going out like last year. I want to go out undefeated, national championship. I want to go out on top."
When asked about his upbeat personality, Jackson, who can talk a mile-a-minute when on a roll, didn't hesitate.
"I am just so happy with football," Jackson said.
"Football gets me high. This is something I love. Just have to run around and scream, come on, come on, let's make plays. I can't really say about last year. ... that's behind us right now. Who acts like me out here? On offense, I like Ray (Willis). I like the little running back dude, No. 28 (Lorenzo Booker). Big 54 (Milford Brown) gets after it when he wants to, too. Malcom Tatum, he's really the one (on defense). Rufus Brown, too. I like challenging them two."
With two-a-days ending, FSU's most immediate challenge -- Iowa State -- is quickly approaching.