This is the first in a series of posts counting down the most important players for Florida State in 2012. There are 57 days until FSU football, and that's how many are on the list. Which means we're starting today. It also means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
Florida State lost All-American punter Shawn Powell to the NFL. In comes freshman punter Cason Beatty. 6'3, 230.
Background: Beatty committed to Florida State on June 19. He doesn't turn 18 until August. He has only punted for a single year, as he played quarterback for Charlotte (NC) Olympic High. He did show a big leg in high school, but as he has only punted for a short time, he was far from polished. Beatty graduated early and enrolled in time for spring. He did not blow people away in spring, despite quotes to the contrary by Jimbo Fisher.
The 57* 57: Cason Beatty, Punter
* Saturday: Chris Casher
Projection: Punting will be very important for Florida State this year, as good punts allow the (potentially) best defense in the country to leverage its position and force turnovers, safeties, etc. A freshman with a big leg but little experience is a recipe for big punts, but also shanks. The important thing will be avoiding disaster and working towards consistency. Will he be able to do that? Nobody knows.