Baseball America released its pre-season top 25. Of note are 1. Texas, 2. Virginia, 3. LSU, 6. Georgia Tech, 7. Florida, 9. Florida State, 15. Clemson, 16. Miami (FL), 20. North Carolina. 6 ACC teams in the top 25 is pretty dominant. Our baseball guys will have some excellent content coming soon.
FSU returns 10 starters on offense next year (losing only Rod Owens). Here's a chart showing the last few teams to do the same. FSU was already better than all of these offenses except for 2009 Georgia Tech and 2008 Texas Tech. You'll remember that the 2008 Texas Tech squad reached #1 in the country for a bit and beat Texas. The more I think about it, the more I think FSU might look like that 2008 Texas Tech team.
Dekoda Watson was burned consistently in coverage today. I'm falling in love with Myron Rolle. If Rolle was rusty coming off a one-year hiatus from football, he certainly didn't show it today. Rolle showed excellent athleticism and great range in the secondary today and showed that he's capable of being a fine center-field type in the defensive backfield. Rolle was one of the top safeties in the country before taking a year off, so his success should not be a big surprise to anyone. Both Patrick Robinson and Jerome Murphy made a few nice plays today.
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Just some highlights from FSU Seniors participating in the Senior Bowl
Patrick Robinson (CB - FSU) had a good day as well. Robinson reacted well in both soft and press coverage, although he looked lacking during the stalk block drill which requires the defensive back to shed the wide receiver block and get to the ball carrier. Mayock thinks Robinson has the quickest feet of any CB in the draft. Battle Red Blog
Patrick Robinson looked good today. He showed good press coverage and a quick breaks on the balls. Mocking the Draft
Florida State safety Myron Rolle made a couple of real impressive hits in pass coverage and showed better hip flipping ability and footwork than most people thought he had. He’s not the physical specimen that Taylor Mays is (nobody compares to Mays), but Rolle fills out his pads nicely and seems very fluid athletically for a rocked-up body that took the last year off to study at Oxford. Real GM Football
"The fact that he's been away from the game for a year doesn't bother me or anybody, I don't think," Mayock said. "He looks great - he's in wonderful shape. That's not the issue. The issue when he was [at Florida State] is that he's got a little bit of tight hips, he doesn't move as well as some of the other safeties in this draft. What he's got to show is that he can cover man-to-man, that he's a little bit more fluid than he might have looked a couple of years ago on tape. "The little bit I saw of him today, I liked him, but I just haven't seen enough yet. I don't think he's a high pick. I don't think anybody thinks he's a first- or second-round pick. What he has to do is rejustify his position somewhere in this draft" in a strong field of safeties. Philadelphia Daily News
Florida State LB #36 Dakota Watson isn't the biggest but he can lay the wood. Recorded the most violent hit of the session. DraftDaddy
Thursday (1/28/10): Rolle seemed to be having fun today and was as loose and confident as we've seen him all week. He was ready to play and was certainly one of the better players on the field. Rolle has good change-of-direction skills for his size and has more quickness and fluidity and we expected. He is clearly more fluid than USC S Taylor Mays and is consistently in better position than Mays. Rolle is finally to the point where he is comfortable and is simply playing without thinking, and as a result we're seeing his athleticism and good feet show up.
The more I see and hear from the senior bowl, the better I feel about the upcoming season. The old coaches just did not do their jobs on defense over the last two years. Maybe this change will be real, significant, and immediate?
On the recruiting front, Dan Foose committed to Illinois. There is very little reason for concern here. FSU will return 10 scholarship linemen after this season, including 3 starters. The 'Noles will take 3-6 offensive linemen in next year's class and look good in the early going for several big fish. Also, Bjoern Werner could play OLine for the FSU.