Can Greene avoid a sophomore slump?
The Countdown* 57: Cason Beatty, Punter
* 56: Terrence Brooks, Safety
* 55: Dan Hicks, Tight Ends
* 54: Clint Trickett, Quarterback
* 53: Rashad Greene, Receiver
This is the fifth in a series of articles counting down the most important players for Florida State in 2012. There are 53 days until FSU football, and that's how many are left on the list. That means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
Rashad Greene | 6'0, 175 | Soph | Receiver
Speedy four-star receiver who starred for perennial state and national power St. Thomas Aquinas...ranked as the No. 10 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com, No. 20 by 247Sports and No. 29 by Rivals.com...No. 125 on the ESPNU 150 and No. 20 wide receiver nationally by ESPN...had 43 receptions for 943 yards (21.9 yards per catch) with 13 touchdowns as a senior...came up big in the 2010 Class 5A State title game with six receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns -- including a title-clinching 74-yard pass in the fourth quarter...St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Tampa Plant 29-7 and finished with a No. 3 national ranking...tallied 31 catches for 510 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior, helping St. Thomas Aquinas to a state title...First Team Sun-Sentinel All-Broward County as a senior...No. 30 on Bill Buchalter's 2011 Florida Top 100 for the Orlando Sentinel...All-Broward County First Team by The Miami Herald as a senior and All-Broward County Second Team as a junior...No. 94 on Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120...No. 17 on the SuperPrep Florida 110...member of the Florida Times-Union's Super 75 where he was rated as the No. 5 wide receiver...also a standout track & field athlete in sprints and jumps...coached in football by South Florida icon George Smith at St. Thomas Aquinas. -- Seminoles.com
Greene came to Tallahassee with much acclaim and actually lived up to it as a freshman -- a rare feat for a freshman receiver. Greene was Florida State's leader in catches with 38, receiving yards with 596 and touchdowns with 7 touchdowns, earning his way onto numerous Freshman All-American teams. This, despite missing four games due to an Achilles injury.
Greene is also a smart kid, majoring in nursing and carrying a very good GPA. Did his smarts help him understand Jimbo Fisher's offense as a freshman? It likely didn't hurt.
While everyone could see Rodney Smith's steady progression developing, the same cannot be said for Rashad Greene. As a freshman, Greene posted an incredible 38-596 line in only nine games! Greene's 66 yards/game mark was good for eight in the conference and FSU's best. Greene isn't a big player, but he has track speed and incredible quickness. A lot of blue-chip freshmen have that. What Greene had that other freshmen often do not is a special feel for the position, excellent hands and solid route-running ability. Jimbo Fisher recently discussed the need to find even more ways to get the ball into Greene's hands. If he stays healthy, he'll be on pace to knock Greg Carr out of the top-five in all-time receiving yards.
Greene might be the best receiver Florida State has had in a while. Certainly no Florida State true freshman wideout has had a season like Greene in quite some time.
Green combines excellent deep speed with outstanding quickness. He has a good understanding of the receiver position, which allows him to put his tools to use. Greene has very good body control and strong hands. And despite missing time in multiple games, he's tough, which is important for a guy with his build.
Greene enters the 2012 season as Florida State's best receiver, narrowly edging out senior Rodney Smith for the honor in my estimation. To keep the spot, he'll have to continue to work off the jam by using his quickness. Teams will increasingly focus on and look to bully the slight-of-build Greene.
I don't know how much better Greene can get, given his size limitations, but he already has the skill-set to be a superstar receiver at the college level. If he can stay healthy, he'll avoid a sophomore slump and could approach a split of 60 catches/ 1000YDS /10 TD. That's particularly reachable if, as expected by some, FSU uses more two-tight sets this year and fewer receivers.