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Fisher: "We need to establish toughness"

FSU WR Kermit Whitfield continues to improve

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State will break training camp this Saturday and so far head coach Jimbo Fisher is still trying to determine what type of football team he has. Despite winning the ACC title for the past three seasons, the Seminoles were picked to finish second this the conference this year behind Clemson.

Florida State will open its sixth season under Fisher on Saturday Sept. 5 against Texas State and he has one goal for the final two weeks of camp.

"We need to establish the toughness of this team, the identity of this team, the work ethic of this team, and to make sure guys understand what it takes to be a championship-caliber player," said Fisher. "They need to understand how to do it day in, day out on a consistent basis."

One of the best battles during camp has been along the interior defensive line. The Seminoles are blessed with depth at the position and several players are battling for first team reps. 

"They're doing a solid job," Fisher said of the defensive line. "It's guys that know what they've got to do, they just have to go do it. It gives you that toughness. You've got to be able to stop the run, and those interior guys have to be physical guys." 

FSU held an intra-squad scrimmage on Friday and Fisher said that both the offense and defense battled with inconsistency. 

Consistency also plagued wide receiver Kermit Whitfield during his up-and-down sophomore season. He finished the season with just 11 catches for 145 yards. Whitfield has always been an explosive kick returner but now his playmaking ability has extended to the offense.

"(I did) a lot of work over the summer," said Whitfield. "We did a lot of speed work and (did work) in the weight room. I got leaner in the offseason and worked with the quarterbacks during seven-on-seven.

Whitfield's improvements have also caught the eye of the defense.

"He's going to be a great player for us this year," said junior defensive back Nate Andrews. "He's always been good but he's just taking his talent to a better level now. He's improving on a lot of things, running routes full speed every time. He's electric. He's one of the most electric players in the nation and Coach Fisher has a weapon this year."