Florida State opens up its 2012 football season against Murray State at 6 pm this Saturday on ESPN3. At Noon Monday, head coach Jimbo Fisher will discuss the conclusion of FSU's fall football camp and the upcoming game against the racers. He'll be followed by Quarterback EJ Manuel.
Notes from Jimbo Fisher:
- Depth Chart News: As expected Menelik Watson and Nick Waisome are listed as starters at right tackle and field corner, respectively. But the positions are very much up in the air with Daniel Glauser challenging Watson and Ronald Darby challenging Waisome. All four will play a lot in the opening game. Full depth chart posted after the jump in a minute.
- Nose Guard Anthony McCloud should be back "this week or next," and FSU will be very careful with it. McCloud has also dropped 12 pounds and gotten in better shape after missing practice with the strained pectoral.
- Fisher seems very happy with both of the JUCO tackles, saying they work hard, are very athletic and physically mature, and surprisingly instinctual.
- Fisher said Tyler Hunter has been doing very well both on and off the field (Hunter had the incident of tweeting rap lyrics about killing cops after being pulled over). Fisher said Hunter has grown as a person. He is the starting nickelback as long as he stays on track and does what he needs to do.
- Fisher says the punting is better. Not perfect, but Fisher is pleased with how freshman punter Cason Beatty has progressed. Of course, when the lights were on during the spring game, he was poor.
- WR Rodney Smith is still battling the hip flexor. RB Chris Thompson (hamstring) is expected to practice today.
- Fisher says he has no worries playing starting WR Rashad Greene and starting safety Lamarcus Joyner at punt and kick returner. He Listed Deion Sanders, Peter Warrick, Terrell Buckley and Greg Reid as examples of great players returning kicks.
- Fisher expects many members of the tremendous 2012 recruiting class to redshirt. It's a reflection on the depth of the program.
- As expected, Chris Thompson is the starter at running back. He said Thompson brings another dimension.
- Fisher raved about Wilder catching the ball and in the passing game.
- Murray state's defense goes stack, 8-man, cover r, likes to blitz, will play 0, opens the chance up for big plays. Fisher says Murray State will go after you with the blitz and play 0. Excellent prep for FSU O-Line. Chance for big plays over the top. If you don't know what this means, we'll go into detail later in the week in our exclusive game preview.
- RE the backup linebackers: RS-FR Terrance Smith has really come on both in the defense and in special teams.
- Fisher said his communication with Manuel is better this year.
EJ Manuel Notes are after the jump.
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EJ Manuel Notes
- EJ Manuel has the classic 5th-year senior schedule. Not many classes, he said. Time to get in extra film work or treatment if needed.
- Manuel said that he can help the offensive line by getting the ball out on time. Manuel says he knows his reads and the ball should get out on time, and if not, he'll hit the checkdown.
- Manuel says he is very confident in the line despite the inexperience.
- Manuel says the communication between he and Fisher is much better this year. He says he understands what Jimbo wants out of a play. Manuel says he watches more film than TV now in his downtime as compared to last year. The growth came over the summer when he had to be the coach on the field for the 7-on-7 and report to Jimbo.
- EJ Manuel says Murray State runs Quarters, cover-R, va tech/duke, similar coverage. EJ confident against it.
- Manuel says Kelvin Benjamin has matured tremendously over the last few months. He said last year he did not feel the need to practice hard every day, but it is totally different this year.
- Manuel says Christian Green has improved his route running a lot. Says he looks forward to throwing him a bubble screen!
- Manuel says they have not been practicing running the ball with the QB a whole lot. "But if the situation comes, I know he'll give me the ball to get a first down," he said.