Florida State coach uses a water pistol during the punt return drill
Punt returners need to be able to keep their eyes on the football at all times, no matter what’s happening around them. That includes all wet conditions, as Florida State showed during Friday practice.
NoleGameday’s Logan B. Robinson Friday tweeted video of Florida State running backs coach and recruiting coordinator David Johnson working with freshman defensive back Azareye’h Thomas during a punt return drill.
In practice, a person off-camera holed the ball to Thomas. While the ball was in the air, Johnson splashed Thomas in the face from about five yards away with a large water pistol.
Despite being thrown in the face with water, Thomas was able to secure the catch.
— Logan B. Robinson (@LogansTwitty) August 19, 2022
Punt returners have one of the more thankless jobs on any team. They are expected to catch the ball in most circumstances, regardless of inclement weather conditions. They must also decide whether to signal a fair catch by keeping an eye out for opposing players coming their way. Returners must do this while remaining focused on catching the ball.
These plays can create some pretty violent hits, such as one seen during a game between Marshall and Louisiana Lafayette in December (see video here).