Tomahawk Nation writers have been calling for this move for a long time and it took an academic casualty to make it happen, but it is the right move nonetheless. Everette Dawkins will move back to strongside defensive end and replace Kevin McNiel, who is looking more and more like an unsurprising academic casualty.
Dawkins is a full 265lbs and is a natural defensive end. He had moved inside to defensive tackle last year to help with the depth at the position, but many questioned the move because he would be woefully undersized. Dawkins should be considered the front-runner to win the Strong Side Defensive End position over Toshmon Stevens, who appeared very very skinny Saturday and has been unable to add the bulk needed to play the defensive line.
Redshirt freshman Everett Dawkins participated in the first three games last season as a defensive tackle. On Monday, he was back at the defensive end position where he starred in high school.
"He can always go back inside if he has to," said Bowden, noting the move helps bolster the Seminoles' numbers at the end position. "The whole thing is does he have the quickness to play out there, and that's what we'll find out."
That's disappointing that FSU's defensive staff is still focused solely on speed when their defense got ran over last year. Still, maybe McNiel's academic struggles will be a blessing in disguise.
Florida State's rush defense was the 2nd worst in the conference last year, though the 'Noles hid that some with excellent pass defense. This year the defense looks to be much more stout against the run.