This is the 34th in a series of articles counting down the days until Florida State football kicks off the 2012 season. There are 24 days until FSU football, and that's how many items are left on the list. That means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
6'2, 290 | Defensive Tackle | RS-JR
Bio (courtesy: media guide)
Played defensive end at Alonso High School, where he earned a four-star rating...selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game...in two seasons recorded nearly 50 tackles for loss and 30 sacks...earned MVP honors for his performance in the Hillsborough County East vs. West All-Star game after recording two sacks...outstanding athlete who played basketball as a junior...the oldest of four children raised by his mother Katina Daniels...received 27 scholarship offers and chose FSU over Georgia, USC, Miami, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and Clemson...born February 23, 1990.
Demonte McAllister came to Florida State as a very heralded defensive lineman. Early in his career he battled injury, focus and maturity issues. That led to a redshirt in 2009.
But things got better.
In 2010, McAllister occupied a backup defensive tackle role and tallied 16 tackles (7 for loss).
He improved his play in 2011, particularly down the stretch, and proved to be a valuable member of the defense.
McCallister has essentially been the number three DT the last two years and the number four nose tackle. He has the skill set to play either position and provided good depth toward the end of 2011, as approximately 75% of his meaningful game time snaps occurred in the last four games. The former Under-Armor All America defensive end switched to interior as a redshirt freshman (2010) and was perhaps less than thrilled about the change. Demonte was getting considerable playing time in 2010 and his play was similar to that of McCloud, just in a slightly smaller package. He is very talented and should see increased playing time this year, since the guy that took his playing time is now on offense. The number two DT spot is up for grabs this spring and he should be the one to take it.
With Cam Erving's move to the offensive line, Florida State will be looking to replace roughly 222 of the 667 snaps logged at the defensive tackle spot during non-garbage time in 2011. That 33 percent, for those of you scoring at home.
Everett Dawkins is still the clear starter at the position. And McAllister appears set to be his backup, though that is not guaranteed. Last year McAllister turned in 72 non-garbage snaps (54 at defensive tackle, 14 at nose and four at end).
In 2012, I expect McAllister will be asked to increase that number to at least 150, and perhaps 200.
It is encouraging that McAllister has improved as a player during each of his seasons in Tallahassee. Improvement should be expected again from McAllister, who turned 22 in February.
As I mentioned, McAllister's spot as the No. 2 tackle is not guaranteed. Not when Florida State has ten former four or five-star defensive tackle recruits on the roster! Here's the breakdown:
|J. McDaniel (NG)||D. McAllister* (DT)||T. Jernigan (NG)||N. Lawrence (NG)*|
|E. Dawkins* (DT)||E. Goldman (DT/NG)|
|M. McCray* (NG)||D. Mitchell (DT)*|
|A. McCloud* (NG)||J.Shanks (NG)|
McDaniel is likely to be a non-factor and will probably redshirt. McCray is usually a non-factor. Shanks is almost certainly going to redshirt. Mitchell is effectively out for the year with back surgery (6-8 weeks, plus potential rehab and complications).
Of the six defensive tackles Florida State has for this year who are likely to play big minutes (Dawkins, McCloud, McAllister, Jernigan, Lawrence and Goldman), three are definitely nose guards, and some believe Goldman will also play the nose. Thet would give FSU four nose guards and two 3-techniques. Three and three would be better.
But we're not so sure yet who will be the third defensive tackle (Jernigan could move to 3-tech from nose guard, or Goldman could play it), or if they'll pass McAllister for the No. 2 spot at 3-technique, but regardless McAllister is going to be a valuable piece of the 2012 defense.
That says a ton about the depth at defensive line. He would start for probably 75-percent of D1 schools, but there's a chance he could end up as a third-stringer for Florida State. That competition makes everyone better. And in this defense, everyone plays. McAllister will get his snaps. The question is, will it be 150 or 250?