E.J. Manuel has nothing to prove at this point and as the starter for the next two seasons his real growth will happen during that time. Still he is clearly the top QB on the team and it would be great to see a solid outing on Saturday. He won't be able to effectively run which is a big part of his game, but we already know what he is capable of there.
The back-up QB's need to have strong showings. It is very important either Clint Trickett or Will Secord(and preferably both) are ready to play and have a firm grasp of the offense. With the rest of the team extremely solid, this is a spot that is a question mark. One of them is a play away from being the guy and it would be very encouraging if both showed that they are capable of taking over this team. We have seen the last couple of years that the back-up has played and started games; it could happen in 2011 as well.
Like Manuel, FSU fans are very familiar with Ty Jones and Jermaine Thomas. Both players are entering their senior year and there is not likely to be any Earth-shattering changes in their respective games. Chris Thompson is out with injury.
Devonta Freeman is the main attraction. The freshmen early enrollee has had a strong Spring and this will be the first opportunity for many FSU fans to watch this talented youngster. He's impressive because he does everything at a high level and I will be genuinely surprised if he does not have a couple of eye-popping plays. Big-time future.
There almost certainly is not a deeper position on this team which makes the competition fierce at this position. What also makes this interesting is that some players are known(Reed, Easterling, Smith, Haulstead) which makes the four youngsters hungry. Is Jared Haggins really coming along as well as it has been reported? Is Christian Green ready to realize his vast talent? Kenny Shaw and Greg Dent both received some PT last year, are they ready for more? Is there a true game-breaker here? We won't necessarily know the answers to those questions, but we will have an idea.
With a pair of talented freshmen on the way, it is extremely important for guys to make their case and the Spring game is a good spot to do that.
A pair of redshirt freshmen, Willie Tye and Tank Sessions, need to continue developing. When both players were recruited it was generally thought that they would need some time to reach their ceiling. It is important that they are getting better every day. Is that happening? Will it happen? Are either effective blockers? Even more so than the WRs who will have to deal with freshmen arriving, these two have Nick O'Leary coming in behind them, they need to have a strong showing on Saturday(at least one of them).
Unfortunately injuries have really caught up with this unit. The simplest way to say it is that this group needs to be good enough to allow the offense to play their game. There will be walk-ons playing plenty here and they will be going against a very talented defensive line.
Jacob Fahrenkrug has received praise from Coach Trickett, the big JUCO transfer will get plenty of run. Also FSU fans will get their first looks at Trey Pettis, Jordan Prestwood, and Sterling Lovelady. All three need time in the weight room, but solid showings will help ease any concern going forward. Four more are on the way.
We expect the FSU offense to be better in 2011 than 2010. There is little reason for it not be as most key personnel return plus there is potentially an infusion of young talent. We HOPE that injuries on the OL do not make this a situation where the offense has trouble moving the ball.
We eagerly anticipate several youngsters who we feel are ready step up. THAT DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN in the Spring game.........it is not the end all, be all. But we like perfect worlds and would love to see some of the development.
Having a certain amount of rhythm, not turning it over, and flashing some big play ability will be more than enough to meet our expectations.