Season in Review: Wide Receivers

Florida State finished 9-4 in the regular season after a loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC title game. NoleDigest takes a look the WR position for the season and a brief look to the future.

The Players

Bert Reed: 56-589(10.2), 2 TD

Willie Haulstead: 36-573(15.9), 6 TD

Taiwan Easterling: 41-541(13.2), 4 TD

Rodney Smith: 30-436(14.5), 3 TD

Bo Reliford: 17-198(11.6), 1 TD

The pre-season loss of uber talented Jarmon Fortson created a lot of anxiety as to the ultimate production of this unit. It was not surprising to see Reed lead in the team in catches, it was disappointing for him not to make more plays. Reed is climbing up the all-time list at FSU, but figures to see increased competition in the future.

Haulstead showed immense promise as a sophomore
Steve Chase,

The other experienced wide-out was Easterling. He had an up and down junior campaign including a five game stretch late in the year where he disappeared. A solid game vs. VT was an excellent sign. We will certainly hear about the yearly speculation of him taking the baseball route. Easterling is consistent with excellent hands.

The two players who were forced to step up in Fortson's absence were Haulstead and Smith. Each had their moments with Haulstead establishing himself early(before missing a couple of games with a concussion) and Smith picking up steam late.

They both possess plus size and will be a big part of the future. Despite the strong showing this year, both will need to continue to improve as there are area's that each needs to work on. Reliford very quietly continued to develop. He was much more productive down the stretch and he appears to be turning the corner. Should he continue on this trajectory he should be an effective option as a senior.

Back-up TE Ja'Baris Little did not catch a pass this season and figures to be pressed in the future. A.J. Alexander has decided to transfer.

The Future

Just like the Running Back position, under normal circumstances we might expect to see the same group a year from now because everyone could return. And just like RB, there will be increased competition from some talented youngsters.

Kenny Shaw and Greg Dent did not redshirt and both seemed close to breaking through for some playing time at various times. Shaw still needs some weight, but his route running is special and it is hard to see him not earning more run in 2011. Dent is another player who clearly can help in the short term.

Perhaps no player will be more hungry in the Spring than Christian Green. He did redshirt due to an early injury, but is expected to insert himself into the mix immediately. He is a special athletic package who will make big plays. Jared Haggins and Josh Gehres would play at most schools, but figure to have an uphill battle until the depth chart thins out.

It is possible that FSU will add another two talented WR's in Rashad Greene and Kelvin Benjamin. Both are perfectly capable of playing from day one.

The Tight End position is equally loaded. Both Willie Tye and Tank Sessions redshirted. At least one will be in the mix next year. The expected signing of Nick O'Leary will change the offense. Simply put, he is the type of player and talent that FSU has not signed very often. Tough as nails, he will be ready to go from day one.

The WR and TE positions are deep and if all goes as planned with a few targets---uber talented going forward. The WR spot will have a bunch of different options and has a chance to be one of the best in the country in 2011 and perhaps THE best in 2012.

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