Tight ends close out spring by catching on to bigger roles

Ryan S. Clark, Lead Beat Writer

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Gene Williams/Warchant

Even the final play of a spring game has its merits.

Florida State had made a point this spring to improve upon areas such as situational play and getting certain personnel more involved in the offense.

With three seconds left on Saturday, redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois found redshirt junior tight end Ryan Izzo for a one-yard touchdown pass. Just like that, the Seminoles both executed in the red zone while having a tight end take an active role in the passing game.

It was a strong ending for FSU's tight ends. The group had been part of intriguing storylines throughout spring camp -- either as blockers for a rushing attack that will be without star Dalvin Cook for the first time in four seasons, or as trusted receivers who can give Francois another option downfield.

Because FSU played the Garnet and Gold Game with only two healthy scholarship receivers, the exhibition gave the tight ends a chance to show what they could do in Jimbo Fisher's offense.

"I think they caught a couple of balls -- Izzo had a couple of catches there and Mavin [Saunders] ended up with a couple," Fisher said. "[Tre'] McKitty, they'll be good factors in the game. I mean, they're doing nice things."

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