Will Florida State use more double tight sets or more I-Formation? This year, tight end Kevin Haplea comes back from a knee injury, while fullback Freddie Stevenson takes over the role vacated by Chad Abram.
DKfromVA: This question involves the interplay of a whole lot of different factors. Sophomore fullback Freddie Stevenson is essentially a known commodity at FB, and a good one at that. He presents the ability to block, run, and catch. But, by putting Stevenson out there you’re taking a running back off of the field, and probably a TE too. So I think it will come down to whether FSU really likes a second TE and how effectively the other running backs block. Though I like Freddie a good bit, I’m going to guess that we’ll see more 2 TE sets by the end of the season. I think the second, and even third, TE will progress significantly by year’s end. I’m clinging to my infatuation with a 21-pistol grouping that hits teams in the teeth all season long.
Florida State season preview
Florida State season preview
Kyle Griffis: Stevenson definitely showed flashes in the spring game, but I think with Haplea being healthy this year, we will see more two TE sets because that is probably the more productive offensive set of the two. Having two reliable options at the position is a huge advantage. As an aside, I know a lot of people in the FSU fanbase would love to see Haplea have a solid senior season. That being said, I think Freddie is going to be a great complementary piece to our offense over the next 4 years.
Bud Elliott: From the practice reports, we've seen that FSU is indeed running double tights more often than in previous years. But Jimbo Fisher has traditionally run more I-Formation. I think we may see a good split, and it will depend on the difference in blocking quality between tight end Kevin Haplea and fullback Freddie Stevenson. Stevenson seems to be the bigger weapon on offense, but it's not like FSU will be throwing that many passes to the fullback or the second tight end.
I really don't see a bad option here. I still expect a lot of three-wide, and if it works, some sets with two running backs, though the latter will definitely depend on how well the backs block for each other.
Alan Mundy: I would expect more full back sets. I find it hard to imagine Freddie getting less burn than Chad Abram considering how much more of a weapon he is with the ball in his hands. I also think Stevenson is a better player than Kevin Haplea until proven otherwise. FSU will run more 2 TE sets than last year, that isn’t saying much.
FSU: Can I hedge a bit and say it depends on where the offense is on the field and what part of the season that Florida State is playing? Though by the end of the year (assuming health) more 2TE sets.
Onebarrelrum: I think Jimbo likes his 2 TE sets. Even though, yeah, it worked out fine last year not running them as much. But, with Benjamin gone and perhaps a bigger role with the run game, I think the 2 TE sets, (O’Leary in motion, anyone?) will be Jimbo’s goto in more situations.
Does Jimbo bust out the H-back this year? Who would that be?
DKfromVA: My inclination is to say no. But it’s an interesting question. What if Freddie turns out to be a really dangerous receiving threat? What if Haplea/Saunders/Izzo/Kerr present two really strong options at in-line TE, allowing Nick to be flexed a bit more into that role? Those are the scenarios in which I could see a quasi-H-back position to be utilized in FSU’s offense this season.
Onebarrelrum: I don’t think so. No need to reinvent the wheel. Not to say it won’t happen a couple times. DK does make it sound intriguing though.
Bud: In conjunction with two-tight sets, absolutely. It helps to reset the strength of the formation via motion and can sometimes give better blocking angles. And both O'Leary and Haplea have the size to do it. They are not massive, prototype tight ends.