Thursday, April 26, 2018
Colleges

Analyzing the 2012 Florida State Seminoles

COACH: Jimbo Fisher (19-8 overall, 19-8 FSU)

2011 record: 9-4 (5-3 ACC)

Website: seminoles.com

Quarterbacks

Senior EJ Manuel is an experienced, accurate passer — his 66.1 percent completion percentage is better than FSU's all-time top four: Brad Johnson (64.7), Charlie Ward (62.3), Danny Kanell (62.2) and Christian Ponder (61.8). He threw eight interceptions last year, when he was constantly pressured behind a banged-up line. Redshirt sophomore Clint Trickett and redshirt freshman Jacob Coker are battling for the backup job.

Running backs

The big question here is the health of senior Chris Thompson and sophomore Devonta Freeman (579 yards, 8 TDs). Both are coming off back injuries but coach Jimbo Fisher says they are 100 percent. James Wilder Jr. only had 35 rushes as a freshman but averaged 4.6 yards per carry and can take on more of the load. Coaches love Lonnie Pryor, a fullback who has slimmed down to take extra carries.

Wide receivers

Rashad Greene (38 catches, 596 yards, 7 TDs) could have rewritten the freshman receiving records if he didn't miss four games with an ankle injury. FSU has a pair of 6-6 WRs in Rodney Smith (36 catches, 561 yards, 4 TDs) and redshirt freshman Kelvin Benjamin. Kenny Shaw (34 catches, 418 yards, 4 TDs) is a tough slot receiver. One question is how Willie Haulstead (concussion) plays after missing last season. The tight ends are led by Nick O'Leary (Jack Nicklaus' grandson), Dan Hicks (who moved from defensive end) and Penn State transfer Kevin Haplea.

Offensive line

Former DT Cameron Erving has drawn praise from coaches and players since his move to left tackle this offseason, and the sophomore could start. Sophomore Austin Barron is the likely pick at center, and junior Bryan Stork should start at right tackle or right guard.

Defensive line

FSU is strong up front with Es Brandon Jenkins (41 tackles, 8 sacks) and Bjoern Werner (37 tackles, 7 sacks) and DTs Timmy Jernigan (30 tackles) and Everett Dawkins (25 tackles). DE Tank Carradine (38 tackles, 5.5 sacks) will rotate in.

Linebackers

Nigel Bradham (team-high 86 tackles) is gone. Christian Jones (56 tackles) moved from strongside linebacker to Bradham's weakside spot. Vince Williams and Telvin Smith will split time in the middle, and Nick Moody moves from safety to strongside linebacker.

Defensive backs

CB Mike Harris and S Terrance Parks have graduated and CB Greg Reid was dismissed. S LaMarcus Joyner is just 5-8 but packs a punch (58 tackles, 4 INTs), and Xavier Rhodes (43 tackles) is a physical, 6-2 corner. Terrence Brooks should fill the other safety spot or move to corner. Three sophomores — CBs Nick Waisome and Keelin Smith and S Karlos Williams — must take on larger roles. Freshman Ronald Darby, the nation's top DB recruit, will get good time, Fisher said.

Special teams

Senior Dustin Hopkins, a Lou Groza Award finalist, made 22 of 27 field goals last season. The toughest to replace may be All-American Shawn Powell, who averaged 47 yards per punt last season, a school record.

Bob Ferrante, Times correspondent

Who: Murray State

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: 6 p.m.

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Savannah St.

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: noon

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Wake Forest

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: noon

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Clemson

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: USF

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: N.C. St.

Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Boston College

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Miami

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Duke

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Va. Tech

Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.

When: 8 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Maryland

Where: Byrd Stadium, College Park, Md.

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Who: Florida

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

When: TBA

TV: TBA

Radio: 820/1040-AM

Comments
Is former Florida Gators lineman Taven Bryan a first-round NFL draft pick?

Is former Florida Gators lineman Taven Bryan a first-round NFL draft pick?

Aside from former Florida State safety Derwin James, the most likely first-round pick from a state college is ex-Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryan.He hopes, at least."That would (stink) if I didn't," Bryan said last month at Florida's pro da...
Published: 04/26/18
The case for the Bucs and NFL draft prospect Derwin James

The case for the Bucs and NFL draft prospect Derwin James

The best weapon against the NFL's evolving offenses, Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher said, is a defender who can do it all — someone who can cover a tight end, shadow a receiver or blitz the backfield."The way the game is played now on defense," Fishe...
Published: 04/25/18
ESPNís Rece Davis on hosting College GameDay from the NFL draft

ESPNís Rece Davis on hosting College GameDay from the NFL draft

When ESPN's Rece Davis heard about the idea for boosting the college football insight into the NFL draft, he didn't need any convincing."My immediate reaction was, this is a no-brainer," Davis said.Davis will spearhead the network's overdue look at t...
Published: 04/25/18
ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

Former Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway's off-field struggles continue.ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday evening that Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the NFL's scouting combine.Former Florida WR Antonio Callaway -- who some cons...
Published: 04/24/18
Report: Florida Gatorsí Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Report: Florida Gatorsí Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will be out four months after having surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week, according to a report Wednesday evening from the Gainesville Sun.Jefferson, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound senior, injured th...
Published: 04/18/18
Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Tuesday evening's news that quarterback Jake Allen plans to transfer from the Florida Gators isn't a surprise.Allen, a former three-star recruit in 2017, was fourth on the depth chart. The St. Thomas Aquinas product didn't seem to fit new coach ...
Published: 04/18/18
Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

When former Wharton High star Auden Tate hears his name called sometime next week, he'll join a surprisingly small group.Recent Florida State receivers drafted into the NFL.Over the past decade, only two Seminoles receivers have been drafted: Rashad ...
Published: 04/18/18
Police suspected FSUís Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Police suspected FSUís Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Tallahassee police suspected Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois possessed marijuana with the intent to sell it when they executed a search warrant on his home last week, according to an affidavit.The case — which culminated Thursda...
Published: 04/17/18
Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Even as Florida State was finishing its first recruiting class under Willie Taggart, the Seminoles were already talking about what they could do in the new staff's first full cycle, for 2019."I can only imagine having a year here to be able to recrui...
Published: 04/17/18
Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State running back Khalan Laborn's breakout 140-yard output in Saturday night's spring game was a sign of what could be for the former blue-chip recruit.It was also a reminder of what almost wasn't for the Seminoles.With a...
Published: 04/16/18