Answers From Florida State's Fall Football Camp

Before camp started, I posed questions about the Florida State Seminoles. They weren't dumb or obvious questions. They were real questions which were yet to be answered. You can read them: http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/8/8/2349573/florida-state-football-camp-questions and http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/8/9/2350491/florida-state-football-camp-questions-defense

I'll now try to answer them, though some are TBD:

Will Clint Trickett continue to hold off Will Secord for the backup job? And if so, will Secord transfer?

No contest. Trickett has a stranglehold on the #2 job. No word on Secord's future.

Can E.J. Manuel read the middle of the field?

TBD. I'm not comfortable making a call on this one quite yet.

Will freshman Jacob Coker (6'5" 230) battle for the backup job or will he take a redshirt?

FSU's coaches are very impressed with Coker's physical skillset and work ethic, but he is very raw and should redshirt. 

How will the carries be divvied up between the running backs?

This one is still a huge mystery, as Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas both missed significant portions of camp due to injury. Ty Jones and Devonta Freeman will definitely get some carries this year. 

Can the trio (Reed, Smith, Haulstead) take their game to the next level?

Reed definitely impressed. Smith flashed. And Haulstead had a good camp until he suffered what we believe was a concussion. That's Haulstead's second concussion (he missed the Maryland game last year), and it's worth monitoring. Fisher said this was the best the receivers have played in his time in Tallahassee. But that was before the Haulstead injury, and we do not know if he would still say that.

Who is number four at receiver?

Jarred Haggins. No question. The coaches like his athleticism, toughness, and work ethic.

Will freshmen Kelvin Benjamin or Rashad Greene show well enough to be trusted with meaningful playing time?

Benjamin is really, really raw. And not in a good way. He is a long way off. Greene, however, is explosive and more polished. He'll likely keep the pressure on guys like Greg Dent, Christian Green, and Kenny Shaw. Greene could also play some special teams.

Is the battle at tight end for #1 or #2?

This one was over last week, as freshman sensation Nick O'Leary went down with a shoulder injury. If healthy, he will play a lot as he is maybe the best receiver on the team (including the receivers), but Beau Reliford is still the #1.

How do the two senior tackles look after off-season surgery?

Both came back well and the coaches don't seem all that worried about them. This was the most important question of camp.

Who are the top nine offensive linemen?

This is still being worked out. 1-5 is clear (Datko, Stork, Fahrenkrug, Spurlock, Sanders). Foose, Orelus, Faircloth are definitely in the mix for the final four spots, as is Josue Matias.

Will any freshmen be counted on to be an eight or a nine?

Likely for one spot. The freshmen should all get a lot of playing time in the first two games.

Will Tank Carradine challenge Bjoern Werner for the top spot at left end?

No. Werner followed up his amazing spring with a great fall camp. I don't think anyone realized how quick Bjoern is because he was hampered by that knee injury last year.

How many defensive tackles will see meaningful snaps?

McCloud, Dawkins, McDaniel, McAllister, Erving, Cummings, and of course, Timmy Jernigan. Jernigan is a total freak, but is still a freshman. That's seven. Could Moses McCray make it eight? 

Who wins the battle at Mike linebacker?

We've pontificated that FSU will likely use a platoon here each week based on the opposing offense. Telvin Smith should be better against spread offenses (early in the year), while a bigger backer should be used against pro-style offenses later in the season.

Who will win the free safety job (traditional strong safety spot)?

Terrance Parks and Nick Moody will have to continue their battle for the "free" safety spot, which means playing down in the box. Neither are superstars and the position will be decided not on who makes big plays, but rather on who most consistently plays his assignment. There are stars on this defense. Let the stars make the plays. Guys like Parks and Moody just need to consistently not make mistakes. Parks may have lead earlier in the camp, but Moody is rumored to have had a nice scrimmage.

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