DJ Uiagalelei made his first appearance for Florida State Saturday, performing in the spring showcase as the starting quarterback for the Seminoles. The performance was far from flawless, but it’s a positive one to build on.

According to the ACC Network broadcast, Uiagalelei finished the event 12-of-26 for 177 yards. While that rate is a touch below the level of efficiency one wants in a game, the aspect of this being a spring game and a practice must be considered.

Uiagalelei also saw some usage as a runner in designed QB run plays during the showcase. That is unlikely to be a key part of the offense at Florida State, but Uiagalelei remains a serviceable runner, particularly in short-yardage situations.

After the event, head coach Mike Norvell spoke glowingly of Uiagalelei’s progress in the spring. Norvell said he enjoys coaching Uiagalelei and the ability he brings to the table for FSU:

Uiagalelei shared similar praise for his early moments in the program and working alongside Norvell. The new QB for the Seminoles said Norvell brings a new level of intensity and “demands excellence” every play:

Considering Norvell’s assessment of the spring and Uiagalelei’s description of the head coach, it does not seem like there are any concerns for the performance on Saturday. Ultimately, it’s still a practice session for the team and illustrates areas to work on but is still a watered-down effort for the offense.

As the Seminoles hit the summer, here are some other key takeaways to be aware of:

Malik Benson one to watch

Malik Benson spent the 2023 season with Alabama after beginning his career at the JUCO ranks. He transferred to Florida State in the offseason and quickly impressed the coaching staff throughout the spring.

On Saturday, he continued that trend with a strong showing and made one brilliant catch down the sideline in a one-on-one situation. Norvell labeled the receiver one of the top players on the roster coming out of the spring, and his connection with Uiagalelei will be a key this fall.

Unfortunately, Benson’s afternoon did not end on a positive note. He was trying to block during one downfield running play when his right leg and ankle were rolled up on by a defender.

Benson would be helped off the field and tended to but never returned to the playing field. Hopefully, the ailment is a minor one and does not impede his summer or the start of training camp because he looks primed for a big season with the Seminoles.

Jaylin Lucas can stretch defenses

Florida State hits the summer with an absolutely stocked running back room with Lawrance Toafili, Caziah Holmes and Samuel Singleton returning from last year’s team. To supplement that group, the Seminoles added Roydell Williams from Alabama and Jaylin Lucas from Indiana, but Lucas is particularly interesting to keep an eye on.

Lucas is indeed listed as a RB on the roster, but he brings with him elite versatility after 2 seasons with the Hoosiers. He finished his first 2 college seasons with 875 yards from scrimmage and had 247 receiving yards during the 2023 season alone.

While the other players in the RB room are more traditional backfield threats, Lucas is at his best when he can get into the open field. That means he is likely to receive some handoffs this fall, but also look for Lucas to line up across the formation with a chance to stretch defenses sideline to sideline and even vertically if the opportunity arises.

His speed is elite, and count on Norvell to find unique ways to deploy Lucas offensively.