Coach: Jimbo Fisher
2010 record: 10-4, 6-2 ACC
Conference titles: 1992-2000, 2002-03, 2005
National titles: 1993, 1999
Radio: 820-AM (Tampa), 1040-AM (Tampa), 1340-AM (Clearwater), 1350-AM (Dade City), 1400-AM (Zephyrhills)
Christian Green, R-Fr., WR, Tampa Catholic; Ty Jones, Sr., RB, Middleton; Demonte McAllister, So., DT, Alonso; Moses McCray, R-Jr., DT, Hillsborough; James Wilder, Fr., RB, Plant
The silver lining to Christian Ponder's injuries the past few seasons is that EJ Manuel gained experience. Manuel went 4-2 as a starter, accumulating 1,678 passing yards and helping FSU win two bowl games. The Seminoles likely will use the first two games to give backup Clint Trickett, a redshirt freshman, some playing time in case Manuel gets hurt.
The Seminoles have an embarrassment of riches with Jermaine Thomas, Chris Thompson and Middleton's Ty Jones, who combined for 1,862 yards last season. Freshmen such as Plant's James Wilder and Devonta Freeman could see playing time, especially if Thompson's back pain continues. And while FB Lonnie Pryor is known for blocking, he averages a touchdown once every six times he touches the ball.
FSU returns starting Ts Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders, both seniors. Jacob Fahrenkrug, who was considered the nation's top junior-college lineman, will take over at center. Who starts at guard is undecided, but it could be a combination of David Spurlock, Bryan Stork, Garrett Faircloth and Henry Orelus.
QB EJ Manuel has plenty of targets: 6-foot-6 Rodney Smith to one side, 6-3 Willie Haulstead to the other side and the speedy Bert Reed in the slot. With Taiwan Easterling opting to play pro baseball, look for Jarred Haggins to have a breakout year. And watch for freshman TE Nick O'Leary, the grandson of Jack Nicklaus. O'Leary likely will push senior Beau Reliford for playing time.
Preseason All-America DE Brandon Jenkins (13.5 sacks in 2010) will surely see more double teams. But that will only create chances for a deep line, which includes Demonte McAllister of Alonso and Moses McCray of Hillsborough. FSU has a deep rotation at defensive end with Bjoern Werner, Dan Hicks and Tank Carradine, considered the nation's top junior-college defensive end last year.
Nigel Bradham (98 tackles) on the weak side is the only returning starter to the group. Sophomore Christian Jones is poised for a breakout year at the strongside spot (his father, Willie, and brother Willie Jr. played at FSU). In the middle, expect Telvin Smith and Vince Williams to rotate.
Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops believes he has three No. 1 corners in Greg Reid, Xavier Rhodes and Mike Harris. Coaches are happy with Lamarcus Joyner's move to safety. Nick Moody and Terrance Parks will play the other safety spot, but expect the nation's top defensive back prospect, Karlos Williams, to get a chance to play.
Dustin Hopkins made 22 of 28 FGs (including the winning 55-yard kick as time ran out against Clemson) and all 53 PATs last season. He had 41 touchbacks last season, second best in the nation. Shawn Powell averaged 44.3 yards per punt in 2010, fifth best in FSU history for a single season.
Bob Ferrante, Times correspondent
Doak Campbell stadium
Capacity: 82,300. Tickets: For information, go to Seminoles.com or call the ticket office toll-free at 1-888-378-6653.
7:30 or 8 p.m.
3:30 p.m., ESPNU
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