Tag Archives: Florida State Football

Zi’Yon Hill-Green: Name change, but same game

It is not often that a player changes his name. In Zyon Hill’s case, the Father’s Day change to the new name (nearly a half-year ago) was an ode to his stepfather. Chris Green had been raising Hill since he was one years old.

On the field, there haven’t been many alterations for the 6-foot, 290-pounder’s game. He has always played bigger than his size and that has resulted in a number of challenges over time.

Entering the team’s final game against Texas State, Louisiana needs Hill-Green to put his best foot forward. A win could ensure the Ragin Cajuns a sixth win and possible bowl berth.

But there is more on the line for Hill-Green.

Over the years, he’s dealt with a bevy of scrapes and bruises that have forced some missed starts. In 2021, he even missed time due to a lower body injury.

“His career here started with an injury…..in the summer when he got here,” ULL-head coach Michael Desormeaux said. “It seems like for him it’s been battling that, managing that and pushing through those things his whole career. Our kids see him every day, they know the shape that he’s in after a game.” (https://ragincajuns.com/news/2022/10/31/football-michael-desormeaux-press-conference-oct-31-2022.aspx).

It has truly been a full body experience for the sixth-year Super Senior.

Zi'Yon Green-Hill working in the pregame vs. UAB in 2020
Green-Hill (No. 4 pictured) put together one of the better performances in school history this past season,

Despite the setbacks, Hill-Green’s school-record 21.5 career quarterback sacks have come due to a combination of quickness, lower body torque and endurance. Frequently, he has been at his best late in games (see Georgia Southern ’20).

The former Catholic High School (La.) product plays like he weighs at least 20-to-30 more pounds with the heavy-handed approach taking on guards or double teams. Not only does he fight versus double teams, but he can win by playing to half a man as a pass rusher. All in all, it has resulted in an impressive total of 33 tackles for losses. Hill-Green is a big reason the team has played in four conference championship games the last four seasons.

It is a not a fact that gets lost on first-year Louisiana head coach Michael Desormeaux, who himself put up two 1,000-yard rushing seasons as a former standout quarterback at the school.

“On the field, it’s easy to see how important he (Hill-Green) is,” Desormeaux explained. “In the run game, the throw game, he’s constantly putting pressure on the quarterbacks. He wins one-on-one battles. He commands a double team and when he doesn’t get one, he’s a problem for the other team.”

And on the days when Hill-Green has not been able to practice due to the myriad of injury hiccups?

“He’s coaching the D-line, the other guys that are in there,” said Desormeaux. “It’s not a day off for him. That’s why he is able to go out and perform at a high level. The guy knows the defense front and back.”

Hill-Green posted just one tackle versus Florida State in a 49-17 defeat last weekend.

Facing a pass-oriented offense this time around against Layne Hatcher and the Texas State Bobcats, can Hill-Green pick up at least a half-sack to break the school record?

Perhaps as long as things get back to normal and don’t change as they did a week ago.

Joshua Kaindoh DE-OLB Florida State: Embryonic Stage

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Has stood out in the classroom. Looks the part. Very good range and on-field speed. Closes in…(for the rest of the Strengths, please reference NOTE at bottom)

Weaknesses: Has yet to step up to turn it on vs. elite competition consistently. Out of his three-point stance at RDE (right-handed), he raises…(for the rest of the Weaknesses, please reference NOTE at bottom)

Other Notes: Attended the IMG Academy (Fla.) but originally hails from Maryland • Played in the 2017 Under Armour All-American Game • He was ranked as the….(for the rest of the Other Notes, please reference NOTE at bottom).

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Kaindoh (6’7, 265) presents a challenge for NFL teams. After back-to-back seasons (2017-18) where he began to hypnotize scouts with his combination of length and range, his career was beset with injuries. So where does it go from here? The most plausible comparison could be former Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat (Philadelphia Eagles). The difference? Sweat was more productive in school, but he arguably had even more serious injury concerns entering the league. This past season, the third-year pro set career-highs in sacks (six) and tackles for losses (nine) for the Eagles. Kaindoh has shown flashes when asked to keep contain versus the quarterback. His tackling radius allows him to frustrate teams who use naked bootlegs. Why didn’t he get his hands on more footballs in school as a 6-foot-7-inch defender (two career pass breakups)? On the plus side, he has operated from a two-point alignment and with his hand in the dirt. Is his best football ahead of him? Time will tell. It was unfortunate he got injured in the first game of the season (Georgia Tech ’20) and never seemed to fully recover. Kaindoh may have had the best fall camp of his career in 2020.

NOTE: The entire scouting report on FSU DE-OLB Joshua Kaindoh (including Strengths, Weaknesses, Other Notes and draft projection) will be featured in Corey Chavous’ 2021 NFL Draft Guide/Free Agency review .

Miami (Fla.) vs. Florida State game preview, 9-26-20 (Gallery): Five for Five

Assuming everyone is healthy, we picked five prospects (click pictures for write-ups) to keep an eye on in tomorrow night’s Florida State versus Miami (Fla.) contest in Week 4 of the 2020 college football season. One of the potential key matchups could be between Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson and Miami (Fla.) offensive guard D.J. Scaife, Jr. It is a battle that could get grimy between the two talented linemen. In addition, there is a big challenge for FSU safety Hamsah Nasirildeen -if available- versus Hurricanes tight end/H-back Brevin Jordan.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Sage Surratt 6’3 215 WR- Wake Forest

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Big and physical target. Surratt has the ability to get on top of smaller corners and “stacks” them in order to gain leverage in the deep passing game (FSU ‘19). Makes a number of possession routes as a No. 2 slot WR crossing the face of DBs with pure strength (Rice ’19). Uses subtle hesitation (nods) to set up his post corner patterns (Virginia Tech ’19). High-points the ball and has strong hands. A legitimate red zone threat (15 touchdowns in two seasons). Willing blocker in the read option game (Louisville ‘19). Punt return capability (91 return yards on 12 returns). 

Weaknesses: Struggles at times to get separation in shorter routes. How quick can he get in and out of breaks? Plays his best in a straight line. Scouts will watch his shuttle times at his Pro Day and Combine. Works his way to top speed, not naturally explosive off the ball. Suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in November 2019 against Virginia Tech. 

Surratt, pictured, scored 11 touchdowns in 2019 despite not playing in the season’s final four games.

Other Notes: Attended Lincolnton High School (NC.) and was the school’s valedictorian • Played basketball in high school and finished second in North Carolina high school basketball history with 2,951 points scored. Named the state’s Player of the Year in basketball and football • Set state records for receptions (366), yards (5,926) and touchdown receptions (80) • Brother, Chazz, plays linebacker for UNC • 2018 (10 games): 41 receptions, 581 yards (14.2 YPR) and 4 TDs  • 2019 (9 games): 66 receptions, 1,001 yards (15.2 YPR) and 11 TDs  • Career:  107 receptions, 1,582 yards and 15 touchdowns.  

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Surratt has prototypical NFL size for an outside receiver. He could immediately translate into a red zone threat. Like most young receivers, his success will be measured by his ability to master the entire route tree. Look for Surratt to be a Day 2 prospect, but it would have been intriguing to see him produce for a full season in school after missing the last four games of the 2019 season.