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Florida State Football freshmen make early impressions

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State cruised through the first half against The Citadel en route to a 37-12 victory Saturday night. The lopsided result allowed for Jimbo Fisher to showcase some of his heralded freshmen such as running back Dalvin Cook and wide receiver Ermon Lane.

Cook rushed for 67 yards on 13 carries, including his first career rushing touchdown in the second quarter, a five yard scamper to put the Seminoles ahead 21-0.

"You can see the talent and see the ability", Head Coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Guy's going to be a heck of a football player, I'm very pleased with him."

Cook's unique blend of speed and aggression was on full display throughout the night as he received the most carries of any Seminole running back against the Bulldogs. On his first carry Cook nearly ripped of a long touchdown run, getting tripped up just before breaking into the open field.

"He was about half a centimeter (from breaking it)", Left Tackle Cameron Erving said. "He's really a fast guy and a great back and they got him by his shoestrings."

In the passing game, all three of Ermon Lane, Travis Rudolph, and Ja'vonn Harrison saw extensive time on the field with Lane and Harrison combining for four receptions and forty-six yards. Lane in particular, showed a great sense of route running ability with soft hands and impressive elusiveness for a big guy.

"It's about building their confidence and making sure they're comfortable with me and I'm comfortable with them", Quarterback Jameis Winston said. "When they're being productive out there, you've got to keep feeding the ball, and it boosts up their confidence and gets them playing faster and smarter."

The special teams unit also featured many freshman, including six-foot-seven defensive end Lorenzo Featherston. The lengthy newcomer's athletic ability was highlighted by two nearly blocked punts.

"He is a very big, physical guy, but he's long and athletic", Fisher said. "He's got tremendous ball skills, he can do things like that."

Many of the freshmen saw time on the kick-off coverage team as well, as Fisher noted he wanted to use the speed and athleticism of his new class, in addition to finding a way from them to see the field early in the season, particularly because FSU is without Ukeme Eligwe and Matthew Thomas, who are excellent on special teams coverage.

"Dalvin and some of those other skill guys like Harrison, all those guys, can really run and they've got to get down there," Fisher said. "It's a great opportunity, they get hit and lose the butterflies and it creates more speed and athleticism for us in that department."

As the young guys get their feet wet, they will be counted on to make impacts for the 2014 Florida State squad. Experience is key and games like the one Saturday night provided a great opportunity for valuable playing time.

"Getting experience is important because we'll need them later on in the season," safety Jalen Ramsey said. "The young guys getting experience, getting their feet wet, that's really good for us."