Florida State Football Camp Questions: Offense

Florida State Football fall camp starts today! The Seminoles here are covered quite extensively, and 'Nole fans are right to be excited about this season.  So today, let's reign it in a little bit.  Let's discuss the issues which are still unresolved for each position.  I have included the depth chart from Seminoles.com, and have added the freshmen I mention in the article. 

 Offense
QB
 3 EJ Manuel
6-5
245
Jr.
   9 Clint Trickett
6-2
180
r-Fr.
or 16 Will Secord
6-1
214
So.
14 Jacob Coker
6-5
235
Fr.
TB
 23 Chris Thompson
5-8
190
Jr.
 33 Ty Jones
5-10
210
Sr.
 38 Jermaine Thomas
5-11
192
Sr.
 4 Devonta Freeman
5-8
200
Fr.
 32 James Wilder, Jr.
6-2
220
Fr.
FB
 24 Lonnie Pryor
6-0
230
Jr.
   21 Debrale Smiley
5-11
230
Jr.
 41 Chad Abram
6-0
227
So.
WR
 83 Bert Reed
5-10
183
Sr.
 84 Rodney Smith
6-6
216
Jr.
 15 Greg Dent
5-11
191
So.
 80 Rashad Greene
6-0
175
Fr.
LT
 67 Andrew Datko
6-6
321
Sr.
 77 Zebrie Sanders
6-6
307
Sr.
 or 72 Daniel Foose
6-6
290
r-Fr.
70 Josue Matias
6-6
320
Fr.
LG
 79 David Spurlock
6-4
308
Sr.
   66 Jacob Stanley
6-2
280
Sr.
 72 Daniel Foose
6-6
290
r-Fr.
C
 60 Jacob Fahrenkrug
6-4
315
Jr.
   52 Bryan Stork
6-4
299
So.
 53 Sterling Lovelady
6-2
285
Fr.
RG
 52 Bryan Stork
6-4
299
So.
 59 Henry Orelus
6-3
295
So.
 61 Blake Snider
6-3
295
So.
RT
 77 Zebrie Sanders
6-6
307
Sr.
76 Garrett Faircloth
6-7
295
So.
63 Tre Jackson
6-4
310
Fr.
TE
 88 Beau Reliford
6-6
260
Sr.
 85 Ja'Baris Little
6-3
245
Sr.
   44 Will Tye
6-3
245
r-Fr.
   35 Nick O'Leary
6-4
240
Fr.
WR
 82 Willie Haulstead
6-3
213
Jr.
 12 Jarred Haggins
6-1
191
So.
 81 Kenny Shaw
5-11
170
So.
 89 Christian Green
6-2
205
r-Fr.
  1 Kelvin Benjamin
6-6
242
Fr.

Quarterback

Can E.J. Manuel read the middle of the field?  We saw that he has the arm strength to make a living outside the hashes thanks to a surgically-repaired shoulder, but I question his ability to read and disect the middle of the field.  

Can EJ roll left and throw? There haven't been many instances of him rolling left and then throwing.  If I am picking up on this tendency, so will opposing defensive coordinators. Teams will blitz him from the front side this year, because blitzing the back side has not been all that effective, as he effortlessly rolls right and finds an open man. 

Will Clint continue to hold off Will Secord for the backup job?  And if so, will Secord transfer?  I don't see FSU holding a 4th-year 3rd string QB in 2012.

Will freshman Jacob Coker (6'5" 235) battle for the backup job or will he take a redshirt?  He has a lot of physical tools, but a ton to learn as well.

Backfield

How will the carries be divvied up? 

Jimbo says Chris Thompson's back is healthy. Can he hold up? And can he fix his fumbling issue?  Thompson can be a really good back if he stays healthy.

Perhaps the more interesting storyline is the battle between seniors Jermaine Thomas, and Ty Jones, and freshmen Devonta Freeman, and James Wilder, Jr.  The two seniors have struggled with some of the mental aspects of the game, and freshmen often struggle with those aspects as well.  

Freeman has the better chance of play in regular downs than Wilder by virtue of getting in for spring ball, but does he have a real shot of stealing playing time from three upperclassmen?  It will probably depend on pass protection.  Fisher will not throw someone out there who will get EJ hurt due to a missed blitz pickup.  Will Wilder see anything more than goal-line duty during an uncontested game?

Receivers

Can the trio (Reed, Smith, Haulstead) take their game to the next level?  All three have good physical skillsets which complement each other. They all need to be more consistent in the fundamentals of catching and running routes. This is a big year for Lawrence Dawsey's future at Florida State.  Reed, Haulstead and Smith bring a combined eight years in the program.  If Dawsey can't get them to play consistently by now...

Who is number four? In spring, everyone raved about Jarred Haggins in the slot.  He doesn't need to be a star.  He just needs to be consistent and accountable.  His physical skills will take care of the rest.  But the spot won't come uncontested. The other young receivers could make some noise.

Will freshmen Kelvin Benjamin or Rashad Greene show well enough to be trusted with meaningful playing time? Don't count on it. Not many freshmen earn real PT in Jimbo's system.  

TIGHT END

Is the battle for #1 or #2? Beau Reliford has made it through the academic issues that saw him miss spring. I don't see Ja'Baris Little mounting a legitimate challenge to Reliford's top spot.  Will Tye is definitely an unknown. Is it realistic to expect Nick O'leary to come in as a true freshman without the benefit of spring practice and challenge for the top spot?  If not the top spot, O'leary should mount a serious challenge for the second spot after tearing up the summer skeleton sessions.

OFFENSIVE LINE

How do the two senior tackles look after off-season surgery? Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders have combined to start about 70 games in their three years. Reports are that Datko and Sanders do look really good, but those reports came from the strength and conditioning portion of summer.  Strapping on the pads is a different story.  No, I don't expect anything but glowing reviews, but it is an unanswered question.

Who are the top nine? I figure FSU really needs to have nine linemen it can count on, but with Spurlock's concussion issues, that number jumps to nine.  Datko (1), Sanders (2), Fahrenkrug (3), Stork (4), Spurlock (5), Orelus (6), Faircloth (7), and? Dan Foose has put on some good weight and is in the mix.  Will any freshmen be counted on to be an eight or a nine? If so, it will likely be Josue Matias or Tre Jackson. Most offensive linemen should redshirt, but FSU had some seriously bad luck with non-football attrition of three talented players who would be counted on to be backups this year, and thus took a massive class of offensive linemen (best in the country). A few of those kids will probably need to contribute as backups this year.

What are your questions that could be answered in the coming three weeks?

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