Aug. 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — After a rare day off, the Florida State football team returned to practice Friday for a two-a-day session that will be capped off later in the evening.
The Seminoles will next practice on Saturday afternoon and then will have another two-a-day on Sunday.
I received a lot of great Twitter questions, so let’s start with a couple of those.
@FSU_29_Fan asked, “How do you think the defensive backfield is going to be this year?”
On paper, the FSU defensive backfield is going to be very good. On the field, they may be even better.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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FSU returns the ACC’s defensive freshman of the year in Xavier Rhodes and one of the nation’s top playmakers in Greg Reid at the top two corner spots. Nickel corner Mike Harris is just as talented as those guys and is working with the ones alongside them.
While there is a debate as to whether or not the Seminoles have the top cornerback tandem in all of college football with Rhodes and Reid, there is no question they have the top cornerback trio in the country. Harris is a starter for all intents and purposes and the Seminoles will rely heavily on his ability to lockdown slot receivers all season long.
At safety, sophomore Lamarcus Joyner continues to impress. Head coach Jimbo Fisher even singled him out specifically on Friday for his play in the defensive backfield.
“I thought Lamarcus Joyner had an exceptional day,” Fisher said.
The other safety spot is strong as well. Veteran starters Nick Moody and Terrance Parks have been battling since camp started and have continued to push each other and feed off each other’s energy.
The depth at safety is young but it is talented. Guys like Karlos Williams, Terrance Brooks and Justin Bright help make the safety position one of strength for the ‘Noles.
@_ZayHova asked, “How is Tyler Hunter looking? I heard he had a good scrimmage on Wednesday.”
Great question. In fact, I have a write-up on Hunter today at the bottom of this notebook.
@MurphyRC3 asked, “What do you think the d-line two-deep rotation looks like at this point?”
There is quite a bit of rotation and jockeying for position going on but there’s a general idea of what the Seminoles look like on the defensive front so far.
Brandon Jenkins and Dan Hicks are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, at right defensive end while Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine are the top two at left defensive end.
In the middle, Anthony McCloud is in the top spot at nose guard and Jacobbi McDaniel is at defensive tackle. The battle between McDaniel and Everett Dawkins is still quite strong, though, so I would say the clear-cut starter at defensive tackle has not been established.
In the No. 2 spot behind McCloud, I think there’s a strong battle going on between several guys such as Cameron Erving, Timmy Jernigan and Moses McCray.
@Seminole_4_Life asked, “Are the players watching the OU All-Access [show] on ESPNU?”
Ironically enough, this question was asked while the team was out at their first of two practices on the day Friday so the answer is definitely no.
Even if the team wasn’t out practicing and was near a television, I think it’s safe to say that they probably would not have been watching a show about the Oklahoma Sooners. Fisher and his staff have done a great job of keeping the Seminoles focused on the task at hand and not looking ahead to a game that isn’t until the third week of the season.
Right now the team is focused on improving as a unit overall and correcting mistakes. They will then begin to implement the game-plan for the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe the week of Aug. 28 and won’t turn their attention to the Sooners until that game is the next one on the schedule.
@timothymobley1 asked, “Are we going to see Greg Reid on offense this year if punters kick away from him?”
The thought of Greg Reid on offense is exciting because he is so dynamic with the ball in his hands but I just don’t think think we will see him on that side of the ball this year.
I could be wrong and perhaps Fisher and the offensive coaches will catch everyone off guard this year by putting No. 5 out there. But Reid is too valuable to both the defensive and special teams units to risk an injury on offense.
FSU also has the envious problem of having too many playmakers already on offense. The running back depth chart alone features a handful of game breakers and the wide receiver corps are very deep.
There’s only one football around to go to all of these guys. The thought of Reid being the one with the ball in his hands is fun to think about, though.
JONES CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
From the outside looking in, senior Ty Jones has been the forgotten man of sorts in the talented tailback rotation.
From the inside, that’s not true according to Fisher.
While much hype has been placed on freshmen Devonta Freeman and James Wilder, Jr. and talk has surrounded the statuses of veterans Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas, Jones has flown under the radar. But Fisher said a few days ago and then reiterated today that the fourth-year rusher has looked really good at practice.
“Ty has had his best camp; probably the best camp in his four years,” Fisher said. “Everyday he is being consistent. It’s by far the most consistent camp he has ever had.”
Jones, who has diabetes, said that the key to his strong fall has had a lot to do with his ability to manage that condition off the field so that he is ready when he’s on the field.
“A lot of it is working on my blood sugar and making sure I come out to practice with the right mindset,” Jones said. “Just coming out there, knowing what to do and staying consistent.”
Of note: Thompson continues to wear a blue no-contact jersey for precaution and Thomas, who has battled migraines through most of fall camp, returned to action on Friday and wore the non-contact jersey as well.
HUNTER BEGINS HIS FSU CAREER AT CB
Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops likes to have players in the secondary that can do it all. He wants them strong enough and fast enough to match up with wide receivers or tight ends and he wants them to understand the nuances of how a well-tuned secondary should work.
True freshman Tyler Hunter fits the versatility bill to a tee. The Valdosta, Ga. native was one of the nation’s top safety prospects as a high school senior last year and even starred on the baseball diamond.
Now at FSU and experiencing his first fall camp as a collegiate football player, Hunter has been working at the cornerback position.
“He’s doing a very good job,” Stoops said. “Tyler is very versatile. He can play safety and corner and he could play wide receiver if he needed to. We have a need right now at corner so he’s been working there and he’s been a doing a great job.”