Florida State spring football practice starts today with 15 workouts leading up to the April 16 spring game. The Seminoles return eight starters on offense and nine on defense.
Five goals for coach Jimbo Fisher and the program:
1. Put QB EJ Manuel in command
The Seminoles are EJ Manuel's team, and he must become the leader. He has started six games the past two seasons and played the majority of the Chick-fil-A Bowl victory against South Carolina. In his first full spring, the redshirt sophomore needs to solidify his command of the team. He sustained a hand injury two years ago in the first spring practice, and missed all of last spring after recovering from shoulder surgery. It's time for Manuel to become a star.
2. Develop a backup QB
Will Secord is approaching his third year in the program and Clint Trickett his second. Developing quality depth behind EJ Manuel will be key. Florida State has had capable backup quarterbacks for years. That will be an issue heading into 2011.
3. Patch the line
The Seminoles must replace Rodney Hudson and Ryan McMahon, two four-year starters on the offensive line. Jacob Fahrenkrug will be a key building block in the mission. The junior college transfer from North Dakota State is 6 feet 4, 315 pounds and was rated the top junior college offensive line prospect in the nation.
4. Get healthy
Several Seminoles — including starters OT Andrew Datko, OL Zebrie Sanders and DT Jacobbi McDaniel and CB Xavier Rhodes, S Nick Moody and P Shawn Powell — will miss spring practice because of surgeries or injuries.
5. Fill in the linebackers
The two open spots on FSU's defense are at linebacker. Christian Jones, Jeff Luc, Telvin Smith and Vince Williams will battle seeking the spots.
Information from the Orlando Sentinel was used in this report.