Aug. 8, 2011
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Remember NIck Moody’s paint-peeling hit on Florida’s Jeff Demps?
What about Greg Reid’s take-down of South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore? I know you remember Dustin Hopkins’ 55-yard game-winning field goal against Clemson and Chris Thompson’s 90-yard touchdown run against Miami.
That was so 2010.
A brand new batch of memories are on the docket with Florida State’s 2011 college football season officially starting today. The Seminoles begin their preparations for the Sept. 3 opener against Louisiana-Monroe Monday afternoon with the start of fall camp.
The ‘Noles enter Jimbo Fisher’s second camp as head coach with expectations of the national kind. FSU is ranked No. 5 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll and is the heavy favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“It’s exciting,” junior defensive end Brandon Jenkins said Monday before taking the field. “We are trying to live up to the expectations. But we have to put those behind us and just go out there and get better.”
Jenkins will lead a defensive unit onto the Al Dunlap Practice Fields after a 2010 resurgence. Now in defensive coordinator Mark Stoops’ second year in Tallahassee, the FSU defenders will be looking to establish a rotation on the defensive line, replace two starters at linebacker and shore up the pass defense in the secondary.
As for the offense, EJ Manuel begins his first camp in the role as the ‘Noles’ undisputed leader under center.
After two seasons in which he served as an injury replacement for Christian Ponder, Manuel begins his on-field preparations today with the hopes of continuing to improve his accuracy, decision making and in-game leadership.
“I think EJ is going to be really good,” junior fullback Lonnie Pryor said. “Now he’s the leader. He has been at 7-on-7s this summer doing everything he needed to do. He can run, he can throw. He will go in the huddle and get serious but he can be fun and joke around off the field too. He’s got a good mix.”
Around Manuel, the running back and wide receiver depth charts will shift and change daily as the opening-game rotations are ironed out. The offensive linemen will be tasked with staying healthy and gelling together after the losses of four-year starters Ryan McMahon and Rodney Hudson.
Seminoles.com will be on the practice fields Monday and every practice day throughout the preseason gathering observations, taking photos and shooting video. As the only official athletics website of Florida State University, Seminoles.com will give you the most up-to-date and thorough information about the ‘Noles that you can find anywhere on the Internet so stay tuned.
To get things started, we will have a freshmen-only photo gallery later today along with what will turn into daily observations, video interviews and the official practice report from the FSU sports information department.