Florida State Football Camp Questions: Defense

Florida State Football fall camp started yesterday! The Seminoles here are covered quite extensively, and 'Nole fans are right to be excited about this season. Yesterday, we covered the offense. 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.

There aren't too many questions about defensive position battles. This is a very talented defense that will look to get more comfortable in its second year of a real scheme, and determine who the backups are. I am expecting the best defense since 2005 (Ernie Sims, Kam Wimbley, Lawrence Timmons, Broderick Bunkley, Antonio Cromartie, Pat Watkins and A.J. Nicholson).

 Defense
LE
 95 Bjoern Werner
6-4
273
So.
 91 Cornellius Carradine
6-5
267
Jr.
DT
 55 Jacobbi McDaniel
6-1
297
Jr.
 or 93 Everett Dawkins
6-2
295
Jr.
97 Demonte McAllister
6-2
285
So.
8 Timmy Jernigan
6-3
297
Fr.
NG
 92 Anthony McCloud
6-2
311
Jr.
 98 Cameron Erving
6-5
305
r-Fr.
 94 Darious Cummings
6-2
293
So.
 90 Moses McCray
6-2
320
r-Jr.
RE
 49 Brandon Jenkins
6-3
265
Jr.
 58 Dan Hicks
6-4
270
So.
SLB
 7 Christian Jones
6-4
240
So.
 28 Nigel Terrell
6-2
230
r-Fr.
MLB
 11 Vince Williams
6-1
245
Jr.
   or Telvin Smith
6-3
209
So.
 57 Holmes Onwukaife
6-2
245
r-Fr.
WLB
 13 Nigel Bradham
6-3
240
Sr.
 48 Jeff Luc
6-0
245
So.
BC
 27 Xavier Rhodes
6-2
211
So.
 1 Michael Harris
5-11
195
Sr.
 21 Avis Commack
6-4
203
Jr.
SS
 20 Lamarcus Joyner
5-8
204
So.
 31 Terrence Brooks
5-11
193
So.
FS
 4 Terrance Parks
6-2
215
Sr.
 or 10 Nick Moody
6-2
224
Jr.
 9 Karlos Williams
6-2
220
Fr.
FC
 5 Greg Reid
5-8
186
Jr.
 15 Nick Waisome
5-10
175
Fr.

Defensive Line

Will Tank Carradine challenge Bjoern Werner for the top spot at left end?  After spring I would have said no, as Werner won the spring MVP.  But Carradine has exploded in the weight program and is probably in line for a good bit of playing time regardless of starter status.

How many defensive tackles will see meaningful snaps? It will definitely be six, but could even be eight as Moses McCray practiced yesterday. The depth of this defensive front, which does not have a single senior, is insane.

Linebacker

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.  And that brings up a great point: Jeff Luc.  We know Vince Williams is in the mix to start at Mike, but Luc was listed on the most recent depth chart as the backup at Will. This isn't that big of a deal, because the Will in the over front is basically a second Mike, and in 2012 Luc will be absorbing blocks and letting Telvin roam free.

Defensive Back

Who will win the free safety job (traditional strong safety spot)? FSU's safeties played poorly last year, and as a result, Lamarcus Joyner locked down a starting job this spring patrolling center field.  Terrance Parks and Nick Moody will have to battle for the other 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.   

And that's another thing that really stands out to me.  Some guys on this defense still think they are superstars when they are not.  If they want to play, they will need to focus on playing sound, fundamental, assignment-based football.  FSU now has the depth to sit guys who don't get it.  Let the stars make the plays.

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