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62 posts from August 2012

August 19, 2012

The Early Read: Jacobbi McDaniel Talks Ankle, Redshirt

There was a time a few years ago when Jacobbi McDaniel enjoyed the kind of hype that some of this year's freshmen are getting. Rated a five star defensive tackle coming out of high school, McDaniel garnered the kind of national recruiting attention that Mario Edwards and Eddie Goldman got this year. 

If either of those two need a fervent reminder of just how fragile their status can be, they need only look to the sideline at Jacobbi McDaniel.

"Coming out of high school you never think you'll be that one to go to college and have that type of injury or anything like that," said McDaniel.

On the sixth play of Florida State's win over Duke McDaniel disclocated his ankle and snapped his fibula.

"It's like an injury you only see on TV, but when it actually happens to you I mean you're kind of down for a minute," said McDaniel. "But that's not the [end of] the world. You've just got to pick yourself up and keep going just keep chopping every day."

McDaniel has been out at practice every day but he is yet to return to team activities. He is staying upbeat nonetheless.

"It's been going pretty well," said McDaniel when asked about camp. "I just have to take it day by day, and look at every day as a positive and just get better."

Part of McDaniel's upbeat attitude stems from his relationship with fellow senior Chris Thompson. McDaniel and Thompson have been teammates dating back to their days at Madison County High School. They were recruited together.

Last year the tailback suffered two broken vertebrae several weeks before McDaniels decimated his ankle.

"During Chris' time when he was down he never seemed down," said McDaniel. "He always went to rehab, did everything he was supposed to do, took his time. He relaxed when he was was supposed to relax, worked out when he was supposed to. Because his injury was before mine we just kind of [fed] off one another."

Though Jimbo Fisher is adamant that decisions on redshirts are far from settled, it's looking more and more like McDaniel may take a redshirt season as senior to get completely healthy. 

"If the team needs me I'll come back," said McDaniel. "But if they don't, there's no sense in coming back [too soon], you know that's something I have learned over my years here is being a disciplined person and player. So if they need me I'll come back, but if not I'll just redshirt and take that year to get strong, get better.

"But if they need me I won't hesitate."

Another year would give McDaniel a chance to fully heal and get back to 100%, but it would also give some of the talented underclassmen at his position a chance to get better and continue their progression too.

There are no guarantees that taking a redshirt year would help McDaniel see the field again regularly. To his credit, that's not something he's concerned with.

"I'm just going to do everything right," said McDaniel.

"It's Florida State man, there's always going to be other people coming in competing and if you know me I love to compete. The only thing holding me back was the injury, I'm going to do what I've got to do and just keep on going."

August 18, 2012

Seminoles Open 2012 Ranked 7th by AP Poll

The Associated Press preseason college football FBS Top 25 poll came out this morning and the Florida State Seminoles found themselves ranked 7th in the nation. Florida State will enter the season ranked 7th in both major polls.

The Seminoles were also ranked 7th several weeks ago when the USA Today Coaches Poll was released. 

Florida State was the highest ranked team in the ACC, Clemson (who won the conference last season) enters the season ranked 14th in each poll after an extremely disappointing Orangebowl. Meanwhile Virginia Tech is ranked ranked 20th by the AP and 16th by the coaches.

The Seminoles are also the highest ranked of the Florida universities, UF is ranked 23rd in both polls while USF received 12 AP votes and 11 from the coaches, FIU received 3 AP votes. 

The University of Miami received no votes.

Florida State begins the season September 1st against Murray State.

The Early Read: Taking a Look Back at Week Two of Seminole Camp

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Florida State is about to head into a two-a-day, we'll have a chance to get a few players and talk to coach Fisher so expect an injury update and a few features a little later on today, but for now let's take a look back at week two of Florida State's camp.

Here are the highlights in case you missed anything:

James Wilder is poised for a big sophomore season.

Xavier Rhodes thinks the secondary should still be a defensive strength.

Bryan Stork dished on the progression of the offensive line.

We took a look at the man behind strength and conditionion, Vic Viloria.

Greg Reid headed back home and enrolled at Valdosta State.

We looked at how the schedule sets up for Florida State.

We tried to bring the offensive line into focus.

Dustin Hopkins thinks the key to winning a Groza is staying in the moment.

Florida State had its first scrimmage on Thursday.

Menelik Watson has been impressing more and more lately.

And finally, last night we looked at the back-up QB's.

Also if you missed any of the print features:

Brandon Jenkins is ready to "go out with a bang" in his senior season.

Chris Thompson cleared his final hurdle to recovery on Thursday.

Ok, hopefully that tides you over for the morning. Have a relaxing weekend and check back often because it should be a busy couple of days here on the #FSU blog.

August 17, 2012

Manuel Back at Practice, Looking at Florida State's Backup QB's

Florida State breathed a collective sigh of relief on Friday as EJ Manuel was back out at practice. A day after the fifth year senior was held out of the team's first scrimmage after rolling an ankle, Manuel was back with his teammates ready to go this afternoon.

For the Seminoles to accomplish their lofty goals this season they'll need a healthy Manuel. Clint Trickett was excellent last season as a redshirt freshman, passing for 675 yard, 7 TD's and 4 INT's, but he lost both of his starts in Manuel's absence. Manuel went down in the loss to Oklahoma, and his shoulder injury kept him out at Clemson and for the first half at  Wake Forest, which resulted in a three-game losing streak that more or less tanked the 2011 season. 

For now Manuel looks healthy, but let's take a look at the backups in the meantime. It's been since 2003 that the Seminole starter made it through a whole season. 

Clint Trickett (Redshirt Sophomore)- Trickett is bulked up a little bit and he is stronger. He told us he has made a couple of cross-field throws that have really impressed even him and now when he lifts, it's no longer with the kickers. That was a knock on Trickett last season, he had a disorder that made it difficult for him to gain weight and put on muscle. That behind him, Trickett seems comfortably seated as the team's number two and if pressed into action, his experience last season should be an asset.

Jacob Coker (Redshirt Freshman)- A big, athletically gifted quarterback from Texas, Coker has a higher athletic ceiling than Trickett and it's likely him and Jameis Winston will duke it out to be the Seminole starter down the road. For now Coker is seated third, pushing Trickett for the backup job and gaining an even better grasp of the Florida State offense. 

Jameis Winston (Freshman)- Winston was a highly touted recruit out of Alabama who chose football at Florida State over Alabama and a shot in the major league. So far at camp the freshman has shown impressive athleticism but as a newcomer in a complicated system he's still a ways from being where Jimbo Fisher and staff would ideally like him. Winston is very likely to redshirt this season and come back stronger in Spring looking to compete.

Of course there are other quarterbacks, namely Sean Maguire, but Trickett and Coker are the two who the team will look to in the event Manuel sustains any kind of injury. 

For now, Manuel seems to be back on his feet and looking healthy, but if a repeat of 2011 occurs and Manuel finds himself unable to go for some reason or another, they do at least have some experience behind him.

Beyond that, there were a couple of other banged up Seminoles at Friday's practice but Jimbo Fisher wasn't available so there won't be an update on either until tomorrow.

Check back then.

The Early Read: Spotlight on Menelik Watson

One of the more under-the-radar developments coming out of yesterday's scrimmage may be that the absence of Daniel Glauser allowed Menelik Watson a chance to run with the first team for the entire afternoon.

While things are still far from settled at right tackle, Watson by most accounts took advantage of the opportunity and if he ends up winning the starting job we may look back and point to Thursday's scrimmage as the turning point. 

"I'll wait until the film, I saw a couple missed assignments," said Fisher, who hedged on evaluating Watson after the scrimmage, pending his film study.

"The thing about him though is even when he makes mistakes he's so athletic he can recover. But he went in and he functioned, and we moved the ball and ran behind him and he did some good things. With linemen sometimes it's hard though until you watch the tape."

As incomplete an evaluation as that may be, that Watson was effective is significant because he is so green behind the ears. The English-born former basketball player transferred to Florida State out of a junior college and has barely played any football, so his experience on the offensive line is far less than that of his teammates. 

But his athleticism and potential are quickly becoming obvious at Florida State's camp. A 6-6 320-pound behemoth, Watson started 13 games for the Marist basketball team as a freshman, runs a 4.7-40 and never even suited up to play a game of football until 2011 when he made 8 starts at a junior college in California.

Watson grew up in England one of seven children, he was discovered at a Christmas hoops tournament in high school by a coach from a basketball academy who helped to get him a scholarship to play power forward at a small Poughkeepsie college with a struggling basketball team.

When basketball didn't seem to be the answer, he trained as a heavyweight boxer but he also turned his attention to the gridiron and enrolled at Saddlebrook CC.

At Marist, Watson's teammates had introduced him to the game of football through videogames and a 2010 visit to a BYU-Florida State game in Tallahassee really got him interested in the sport.

So he moved to California and tried it. 

Considering the absolute lack of exposure to just the game itself, the fact he's at Florida State just one season later vying for a chance to start is a remarkable testament to his athletic ceiling.

Watson has been locked in a battle for the right tackle job with Daniel Glauser since camp opened. Whereas the Swiss-born Glauser was able to enroll early and go through the spring with his new team, Watson didn't bear the benefit of that experience and started camp off more than a little behind.

He quickly seems to have caught up.

Senior defensive end Cornelius Carradine, who squares off with Watson regularly, was less hesitant in his assessment of Watson's Thursday scrimmage performance when we spoke to him afterwards.

"He's been great," said Carradine. "The guy's strong, he's still learning the system, [but] he's going to be a great player and he's hard to go against. Without him having a lot of experience, you'd assume he [does]."

"He's got quick feet, he's fast and he's good with his hands. He also did boxing so he's great with his hands."

Carradine was asked if he feels the punch from Watson off the line and he didn't hesitate.

"I feel it," he said emphatically. "Awww, it hurts man. I have to put my arm out and bull [rush] him so he won't grab you, because if he grabs you or he pushes you or punches you, it's almost impossible."

The point Carradine makes is especially salient considering just how big an asset Menelik's handwork can be as a game wears on.

His footwork will only improve and his technique and functional strength will only get better, but that punch is something that sets him apart.

Most defensive lines don't have the depth that Florida State possesses, their rotations will be thinner, guys will play more snaps and have to grind against Watson more. Just like a heavyweight boxer wears down an opponent with that jab, Watson is literally going to be doing the same thing to opposing ends.

Ignoring the fact that, as Carradine alluded to, it limits a pass-rusher's repertoire, after three quarters of having a guy who trained as a heavyweight boxer punching you squarely in the chest every play, that 4th is going to be a challenge both physically and mentally.

Watson may be inexperienced, but his athleticism and intangibles are tough to ignore. 

"I'm kind of jealous, I'm just like 'wow, I've been playing since I was eleven,'" redshirt junior center Bryan Stork said last week. "That's just really cool someone can be that athletically gifted. And he's got a good head on his shoulders, he's got a good work ethic, I think he'll be fine."

Whether or not Watson wins the starting job at right tackle out of camp remains to be seen. But the junior offensive tackle is rapidly progressing and I doubt it's long before he makes an impact on the field in Tallahassee.

August 16, 2012

Quick Hits From the Scrimmage 8/16

Florida State had their first scrimmage of the season just after high noon at Doak Campbell Stadium, unfortunately media wasn't allowed to be there save the first 15 minutes. That's unfortunate too because EJ Manuel was noticeably absent and there were more than a few good camp battles to watch unfold in a more competitive setting.

We did get to talk to Jimbo Fisher afterwards, here's the takeaway:

-EJ Manuel is supposedly fine, though nobody saw him to confirm that. He could have been having an MRI for all we know, but Fisher says he's day-to-day and could have gone if today were a game. After last season Seminoles fans are more than a bit apprehensive about Manuel's health, any little bump or bruise could have detrimental effects on the season. Clint Trickett played well last season, but he didn't win in Manuel's place. Florida State has to have their fifth year senior QB healthy if they want to go places this year.

-Chris Thompson got tackled for the first time since that fateful play against Wake Forest. He said afterwards that he felt great and with the first hit out of the way, he was ready to really go.

"It's been time to go, but now I'm even more ready," said the senior tailback.

-Daniel Glauser didn't participate which let Menelik Watson have a shot to run with the ones. The returns on him were apparently excellent. Watson is still very raw but boasts athleticism and potential that are almost unimaginable for a man his size. For Glauser, every rep he misses is just another chance for Watson to grow and improve. I'll have a bigger profile on Watson coming up tonight, but for now the young man from Manchester had a good afternoon.

-Also out were Jacob Fahrenkrug and Dan Hicks. Hicks is going to require surgery on some cartilage in his knee that will sideline him for a good portion of the year while Fahrenkrug suffered an ankle injury during the scrimmage that should take a few weeks to heal up.

-Fisher credited the offensive line with being much further along this season than last, last year the defensive line was dominant whereas this year Fisher sees comptetition.

"I was very pleased. It’s a battle now," said Fisher. "‘You get me, now I’ll get you.’”

-Ronald Darby continues to impress, you can tell when a coach is fibbing a little and when he really means what he says. A lot of times the words aren't quite as important as how they're delivered and more important than just printing another Ronald Darby quote here, let me just tell you that Jimbo Fisher legitimately smiles when Darby gets brought up. And not like he's putting on either, but like a poker player would when he's got the hand to beat and he knows it. Some of the freshmen getting talked up are just benefiting from camp hype, Darby seems to really be earning his.

-A 12:30 scrimmage in the middle of an August day in Tallahassee sounds like a good recipe for heat stroke but there was method behind Fisher's madness:

“We’ve got to get in this heat," said Fisher. "This has got to be our advantage, not a disadvantage. We’ve got to thrive in this environment – like the (Minnesota) Vikings in the cold.”

-Finally, Devonta Freeman also got his first contact of camp when he sought out Nick Moody (a notoriously hard hitter) and the two collided violently on the goalline, a helmet popping off at the moment of impact. Both got up staggering, but quickly shook it off and returned to the huddle. 

"Devonta really does love contact," Chris Thompson joked afterwards. Florida State is happy to have both healthy again.

I'll have more coming up for you this this evening. 

The Early Read: Seminoles Set to Scrimmage

Today the Florida State Seminoles will have their first scrimmage of camp at noon inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Fans, media and anyone who may have hoped to catch part of the scrimmage are out of luck though, it will be closed to the public.

That doesnt mean we can't still surmise a few things though. Jimbo Fisher will address the media today after the scrimmage and there will certainly be a number of topics on everyone's mind. Regardless of the reliability of Fisher's account (that's not a knock on Fisher, but football coaches aren't typically candid about their team this early on) there's going to be plenty of information to process coming out of today.

Here are five questions I'll have for Fisher later about the Seminoles first scrimmage:

1.) Who starts at field corner? 

There's plenty of time left before the season starts and undoubtedly Florida State will work every possible option, including during today's scrimmage, but perhaps the best glimpse into who is leading the race to replace Greg Reid may come from who lines up at field corner with the ones. Is it an ironclad statement? Hardly. But it's more of an indication than we'll have gotten up to this point. The more players and coaches talk, the more it sounds like Ronald Darby is making a push for the spot, but that could all just be camp-talk. 

We may have a better indication of how things are shaping up later today, or at least, the coaches may. 

2.) Who's ahead at Right Tackle after the first scrimmage?

As I touched on last night, the right tackle spot is being hotly contested by Daniel Glauser and Menelik Watson. Both are European-born junior college transfers and each, at different times this camp, has been praised by Fisher and their teammates. Glauser had the early lead more because he got to go through spring practice, but lately it sounds as though Watson is closing the gap and really pushing the Swiss-born Glauser for the job. Watson, an English-born tackle, has amazing athletic potential but very little football experience. That being said, if he's already gaining on Glauser, watch out.

3.) Which receivers are starting to separate themselves from the pack?

There are 15 receivers on the Florida State roster and while some guys are just not all that likely to make an impact this year, there's a sizeable contingency of receivers who will be fighting for limited reps and playing time. Rodney Smith, Greg Dent, Kenny Shaw, Scooter Haggins, Rashad Greene, Christian Green, Kelvin Benjamin and Willie Haulstead are all capable of contributing, but not all of those guys are going to be able to rotate through. Depth is great, but you still want receivers to be able to establish a rhythm and that rarely happens in an 8-man rotation. Somebody needs to break out. 

Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Dent have both gotten rave reviews, and Rashad Greene proved his value on the field last season, but this race is still wide open and any number of guys could still seperate themselves from the pack.

4.) Are the Seminoles healthy?

Here's the big question, did everyone make it out unscathed? As FSU learned again last year, a couple bad breaks can throw an entire season into disarray. Last night the twittersphere went crazy over a rumor that EJ Manuel had rolled an ankle. Just to repeat, that was a totally unconfirmed rumor, I can't confirm that or deny it, I'll try to find out today if it has any merit (I have doubts), but it underscores just how fragile the hopes of the Seminole football team can be. One key injury could have a detrimental effect, so whether or not Florida State suffered any casualties in their scrimmage will be mighty important.

5.) What side "won?"

Who looked better? Offense or defense? Of course nobody really wins in a scrimmage, but somebody always looks better. One side is usually a little further ahead. If I had to guess, I'd say the defense would probably hold the edge at this stage if one side is going to be declared the victor. The defense returns a lot of talent and the front seven is the strength of the unit whereas the offensive line is still such a work in progress. If the defense "wins" it won't be a big deal, don't read too much into what it means for the offense. If the offense "wins" and it's not because the D turned in a sloppy afternoon that will be significant though. That will mean the young Seminole offensive front held its own against the much more established defensive line. Bryan Stork mentioned on media day he thinks that the turmoil last year will help this line gel quicker, if that's true and they have a good showing today it will help ease the doubts of Seminole fans all over the country.

Check back later and I'll have a full report from the scrimmage.

August 15, 2012

Dustin Hopkins Just Trying to Stay In the Moment

Dustin Hopkins wants to win a Groza Award.

Of all the players I spoke with on media day, the senior kicker was the only one to just own up to the fact he has his sights set on winning an individual award. 

And you can't blame him, the past two seasons Hopkins has been a Groza finalist but has come up short each time. 2012 is no different, and in his final go-round, Hopkins makes no beefs about it, he would like to take home the hardware. But he also knows that's much easier said than done.

"The standards are awful high, sometimes guys win it who are off the radar and they just have the best year of their life. And that's going to happen," said Hopkins about what he needs to do to win the coveted distinction.

"So I guess just focusing on every single kick rather than the big picture [is key]. Obviously I'm going to have that award in the back of my mind, but that being said if you focus too much on the big picture rather than being in the moment everytime then you're probably not going to be very successful."

Hopkins is confident that if he focuses on making his kicks, is able to adjust well to the new collegiate kickoff rules and just stays in the moment, that everything else will work itself.

"I mean we play at a major D-1 university and we have some great athletes so we feel we're among the top in the country and we're going to try to achieve those goals," said Hopkins. "If we perform our best those will come. That kind of goes back to just being in that moment and if I'm in it every time hopefully it will be for the best."

"But, it would be a lot more rewarding to win a team award than just an individual award, obviously," Hopkins added.

Hopkins isn't cocky about his chances, just confident, and that comes from having kicked at a high level since arriving at Florida State a little over three years ago. Consistency is hard to find in a kicker, but Hopkins is 63 of 82 in three years as the Seminole PK, and he has improved his accuracy each season, finishing last year with an .815 mark.

"From a kicking perspective consistency is harped upon nationwide so it's an honor to have been nominated the past three years," said Hopkins.

But consistency alone is not enough, Hopkins knows he'll also need to have a big year.

"Consistency is important, I think it says a lot, but a common saying kicking is 'you're only as good as your last kick,'" said Hopkins. "So if that's the case if somebody has a breakout year then who am I to say I'm with them, they've obviously set themselves apart."

If Hopkins wants to set himself apart, he may need to start in his own state. The Florida Gators boast a Groza finalist of their own in fifth year senior Caleb Sturgis.

"Yeah, Caleb's a great guy. Really good guy," said Hopkins of the Gator kicker.

The two are competitors and will battle it out for the Groza award and state supremecy this season, but it's not a rivalry born out of animosity.

"[It's a] friendly competition. I think just in the spirit of competition we all want to beat each other. I've got a lot of respect for him [though], he's a really talented guy but he's also a good dude, a good person. So if I'm going to have a counterpart over there, I'm glad it's Caleb."

Both kickers will have a shot to put the final touches on their Groza candidacy in the final week of the season when Florida visits Florida State in their annual rivalry game.

As for Hopkins, he's likely to become the all-time leading scorer at both Florida State and in the Atlantic Coast Conference this year, he needs just 68 points to achieve both.

A Groza trophy would be a nice way to wrap up an extremely decorated career, it would also serve as a nice NFL spring board.

But Hopkins isn't letting himself think that far ahead just yet.

"Like a lot of these guys, being in the NFL has been a dream of ours since we've been in fifth grade, so I want that to happen," said Hopkins. 'But it just goes back to living in the moment."

Trying to Bring the Offensive Line Into Focus

Like with most teams at this stage in the season, the Florida State offensive line is anything but cemented. Just over a week into camp there's been plenty of shuffling and moving, with players flipping sides, moving inside and out and working in a variety of different groupings. 

Still, you can see a little bit of shape evolving now, a semblance of what the line may look like come week one provided everyone stays healthy, which as Florida State remembers from last year is hardly a likelihood.

Center

Sophomore Austin Barron seemed like the logical choice to snap the ball when camp started but it looks like redshirt junior Bryan Stork, one of the most experienced guys in the group, has started to settle into that spot instead after moving inside at the beginning of August. The coaching staff may want to have their most experienced blocker calling out protections and acting as the de facto captain of the line given the youth and inexperience of the rest of the potential starters, but Stork at center does still register as a bit of a surprise at this point.

Behind him Austin Barron will likely still see plenty of action this season. Barron performed admirably when thrust into action as a freshman (all things considered) and given Stork's versatility, any kind of injury along the line, not just at center, could see Stork shift elsewhere and put Barron back into the mix.

Guard

The guard spots have seen some good competition, right now it looks to be Josue Matias and Tre' Jackson leading the pack, but with several weeks (and scrimmages) between now and September 1, that could still change. Both Matias and Jackson made starts in Florida State's Champs Bowl victory over Notre Dame last January, and according to back-up quarterback Clint Trickett on Wednesday, they've used that experience to springboard them into 2012.

Matias hails from New Jersey, a big 6-6 320 lb mauler, he's already been singled out by Bryan Stork as the most improved player on the unit. Jackson, a Georgia-native who stands 6-4 330, has also caught the eye of coaches and upperclassmen early on in camp. Behind them, senior Jakob Fahrenkrug, who started much of last season and redshirt junior Garrett Faircloth (who was hampered by injuries last season) are pushing the underclassmen to start.

Tackle

Of all the spots on the offensive line, perhaps the most certain may be left tackle where Cameron Erving has made the transition from defensive lineman to offensive tackle seamlessly. Erving, a redshirt sophomore, has drawn rave reviews so far in camp including one anecdotal story from the coaching staff where they spent ten minutes rewatching a play in which the new-fangled left tackle held preseason all-American DE Brandon Jenkins in check with one arm while subduing a blitzing LB Christian Jones with the other. Bobby Hart, who seemed to have the inside track on the job after starting several games as a true freshman is behind Erving right now.

On the right side may be the best battle in all of camp, where a couple of European-born Juco transfers are slugging it out to be the right tackle. Swiss-born Daniel Glauser has been working with the first team after enrolling early and practing during the spring, but Menelik Watson (from Manchester, UK) has quickly been establishing himself as a presence and the battle seems to be tightening up. It's anyone's guess at this point between the two big European tackles, but by all accounts both have been extremely impressive early on.

So, Who Starts?

There's still a lot of time left in camp, but based on the early returns you can start to focus the picture a little bit. One theme all camp has been how much bigger, stronger and meaner this offensive line has become. It's easy to forget how young this unit was last season, but it's also just as easy to get caught up in the hype that comes with the preseason.

Florida State really won't know for sure what they have until probably week four when Clemson comes to visit. They will however, have a much better idea after tomorrow's scrimmage.

So check back tomorrow, and I'll update you.

August 14, 2012

Quick Hits From Two-A-Days 8/14

Florida State is going through their second two-a-day of camp today, Jimbo Fisher spoke this morning after the first workout, here some of the highlights:

"Very solid day but I thought very soft day. I thought we were soft on both sides up front. Didn't like what the defensive line was doing, defensive line, thought we were soft in our front seven, linebackers. Even the offensive line hasn't been coming off the ball like we did the last practice. That was very disappointing to me especially coming off a day of rest when they should have been a little fresher. I think we've got to adjust to the heat. Got them practing at 5:30 in the morning we've got to get them out here in the heat."

-Fisher did give some credit to Terrance Brooks who has been a little banged up but is transitioning well to his new role as a safety.

"Terrance has been solid, he played the best going on. He's doing some good things, he's a cover guy and he's learning to be much more consistent. Safety, you got a lot more to learn at safety, you're in the pass game, you're in the run game, it's a combination, where your fits are and where your helping, safety can be a very complicated situation but he's doing a nice job."

-With James Wilder, Chris Thompson and Devonta Freeman all vying for carries, the natural tendency is to think there may be an odd man out at running back. Not so, according to Fisher, who sees the competition and depth as a positive, especially considering the propensity for tailbacks to get injured.

"Guys we say that [someone might have to fight for carries], but very few running backs stay healthy, said Fisher. "They get beat on and banged on."

-Christian Jones has been having a very good camp, according to Fisher. Jones is a 6-4 230 lb junior linebacker out of Winter Park, he came to Florida State with some good billing and was solid last year for Florida State. Fisher says Jones has become more of a leader and is learning to do the little things well.

-Cameron Erving is a player learning a new position and Coach Fisher is extremely excited about Erving's progress. Fisher credits Erving for being able to move people and pass protect well, but says the intangible he possesses that will distinguish him is the athleticism to recover when a guy slips past him. 

"Someone's going to get by you on that edge," Fisher said. "But very few guys have that athleticism to recover."

-Sophomore Bobby Hart has been working as the backup left tackle, over on the right side Juco transfers Menelik Watson and Daniel Glauser are battling for the RT job with Glauser holding the slight edge so far in camp.

-Marvin Bracy is still nursing a hamstring injury and is day-to-day.


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