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FSU spring football

Practice: Begins Tuesday and will run on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Spring game: 5 p.m. April 10, Doak Campbell Stadium

Ponder this

QB Christian Ponder spent the last four games of the season as a sideline observer (right shoulder surgery) but it wasn't lost time. "At times, it kind of gave me a coaching perspective a little bit and it kind of makes things come to light as to what I need to do and what everyone else needs to do," said Ponder, who will be participating in spring practice. "It was kind of unique seeing things that go on that I didn't realize; a lot of things I might have missed because I was playing." He's not just referring to how he executes a play, but how he prepares to execute. More accountability is at the crux of a new beginning under coach Jimbo Fisher.

A head start

The Seminoles had four members of the signing class enroll early — heralded LB Jeff Luc, DT Anthony McCloud, RB Debrale Smiley and QB Clint Trickett. Fisher said the 6-foot, 249-pound Luc is already a "man. He's not in an 18-year-old body" and looked in offseason drills as good as advertised. McCloud (6-2, 303) brings power and size (especially needed with former Hillsborough High star Moses McCray out as he rehabs an elbow). Smiley, like McCloud, has played a year (both were at junior college and come to FSU with three years of eligibility), is a physical back that Fisher likes. And Trickett will get more reps than you might expect with EJ Manuel out (shoulder).

Ready to roll

For as many true freshman who played last year, the Seminoles redshirted 10 others and those players have ability. Are they ready? Keep an eye on DL Demonte McAlllister, the former Alonso High star who sat out after having knee surgery. He can play inside or on the edge (a position of greater need), DE Dan Hicks, CB Xavier Rhodes and S Justin Bright and S Gerald Demps. Remember, both starters at S have graduated. MLB Vince Williams (back injury) is also back after sitting out last year, which looms large given that two returning LBs, Maurice Harris and Aaron Gresham have been medically DQ'd.

Coming together

Fisher re-made his staff with five new hires (defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, linebackers coach Greg Hudson, defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot, running backs coach/special teams Eddie Gran and quarterbacks coach Dameyune Craig) as well as promoting one (James Coley) to offensive coordinator. The group jelled nicely on the recruiting trails to land a top-shelf class, but now comes an even bigger test — teaching and developing the players. And let's face it. This will be another test for how well Fisher transitions from an assistant to the boss.

Players who

could emerge

Greg Reid, CB: The freshman was the top punt returner (18.4 yards), but showed his inexperience at nickel. He figures to get a shot as a starter.

Beau Reliford, TE: Took over for the injured Caz Piurowski and did well (11 catches, 101 yards, two TDs).

Willie Haulstead, WR: As a freshman, played mostly on special teams (one catch, 10 yards) but will get more of a chance at WR.

Brian Landman, Times staff writer

spring practice

Florida State

Practice begins today and runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, culminating with the spring game, 5 p.m. April 10, at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Ponder this: QB Christian Ponder missed the last four games of the season after right-shoulder surgery, but it wasn't lost time. "At times, it kind of gave me a coaching perspective. … It kind of makes things come to light as to what I need to do and what everyone else needs to do," said Ponder, who will participate in spring practice. "It was kind of unique seeing things that go on that I didn't realize; a lot of things I might have missed because I was playing." He's not just referring to how he executes a play, but how he prepares to execute. More accountability is at the crux of a new beginning under coach Jimbo Fisher.

Head start: Four members of the signing class enrolled early — LB Jeff Luc, DT Anthony McCloud, RB Debrale Smiley and QB Clint Trickett. Fisher said the 6-foot, 249-pound Luc is already a "man" and in offseason drills looked as good as advertised. McCloud (6-2, 303) brings power and size (needed with former Hillsborough High star Moses McCray out as he rehabs an elbow). Smiley, like McCloud, has played a year (both were at junior college and have three years' eligibility), and is a physical back. Trickett will get more reps with EJ Manuel out (shoulder).

Ready to roll: For as many true freshman who played last year, the Seminoles redshirted 10 others. Are they ready? Keep an eye on DL Demonte McAllister, the former Alonso High star who sat out after knee surgery. He can play inside or on the edge (a position of greater need). Also watch DE Dan Hicks, CB Xavier Rhodes, S Justin Bright and S Gerald Demps. Remember, both starters at safety have graduated. MLB Vince Williams (back injury) is also back after sitting out last year.

Coming together: Fisher remade his staff with five new hires (defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, LB coach Greg Hudson, DE coach D.J. Eliot, RB coach/special teams Eddie Gran and QB coach Dameyune Craig) and promoted one (James Coley) to offensive coordinator. The group jelled nicely on the recruiting trail to land a top-shelf class, but now comes a bigger test — teaching and developing the players.

Players who could emerge: Greg Reid, CB — The freshman was the top punt returner (18.4 yards) but showed his inexperience at nickel. Beau Reliford, TE Took over for the injured Caz Piurowski and did well (11 catches, 101 yards, two TDs). Willie Haulstead, WR — As a freshman, played mostly special teams but will get more of a chance at receiver.

Brian Landman, Times staff writer

FSU spring football 03/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:47pm]
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