FSU football has done a phenomenal job in emphasizing special teams with their kicker Ryan Fitzgerald and punter Alex Mastromanno.
When head football coach Mike Norvell arrived on campus back in December 2019, he emphasized the importance of special teams play being the foundation of a football program.
Redshirt junior kicker Ryan Fitzgerald has certainly improved his play during the 2023 season where he has connected on 11 of his 12 field goal attempts (91.7%) and has made all 45 of his extra-point attempts.
Fans were certainly critical of the upperclassman’s performance with the Coolidge (GA) native only connecting on 12 out of his 20 field goal attempts last season. However, this coaching staff and players on the roster have expressed confidence in Fitzgerald’s abilities to be successful.
To make matters worse for him, the coaching staff decided to bring in ETSU transfer kicker Tyler Keltner this offseason to bring in more competition at the position. This seem to rejuvenate the veteran as he felt the external pressure.
When the specialist made 8 of his last 11 field goal attempts to end last season, he pointed the improvement to going back to his previous kicking technique. With being a field goal kicker, it takes the ultimate confidence and determination to fulfill the tasks needed to be successful.
There once was an instance where the coaching staff would debate whether or not going for it on a long fourth down at the 25-yard line. However, it seems as though this football team feels confidence in Fitzgerald to get the job done.
This Florida State football team has made major strides under the guidance of head football coach Mike Norvell. While it hasn’t been rosy at times, the players have battled through heightened levels of adversity to get where they are today.
Fitzgerald has been a prime example of the phrase “Response” that Norvell preaches with how he has been able to navigate through challenging circumstances.