With so much returning talent at this position it is expected to be one of the strengths of the team. FSU is still relatively young here as well with no SENIOR listed amongst the projected two deep at DT or DE.
Three players should be worth keeping a close eye on Saturday. JUCO transfer Cornellius Carradine enters FSU with all the accolades and when you see him you will realize the athletic gifts he possesses. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and "Tank" will try to do just that this weekend. Dan Hicks has also had a strong Spring.
Cameron Erving has started to create a lot of buzz and it will be interesting to see how he does. Considered a project when he arrived--some thinking he would go to the OL---Erving has really picked up his game and is a darkhorse for major PT in 2011. He has slimmed down, is moving well, and will try to end Spring ball on a high note.
Darious Cummings is another young interior linemen that should be worth watching. How is he progressing? With three solid DTs arriving this summer, he needs a strong showing.
We certainly want to see as much of Telvin Smith on Saturday as possible. Already a bit of a crowd favorite for his emotion and swagger he was a bit of surprise getting reps at MLB and then thriving there. Is he going to be the guy there next year? Was this just to get him reps at multiple spots for experience? Who knows at this time, but it certainly is worth watching. Vincent Williams should be the other MLB and he received some playing time last year.
Bradham has all the ability in the world and it seems like just yesterday he signed with FSU. However he is now entering his senior season and while he has been very, very good, he has not put it all together. He is expected to do just that in 2011 and he should show signs on Saturday that he is ready to become an All-American type player.
Lamarcus Joyner will be out there at Safety and due to his recruiting accolades he is expected to turn into a star at FSU. Safety is probably his more natural position and his speed should allow him to be quite rangy back there---something that has been missing. Joyner has added significant muscle and certainly looks the part.
Avis Commack is healthy and has two years left to leave his mark at FSU. Playing CB with his height and size makes him very intriguing in today's college game. With the top three CBs returning, Commack does face an uphill battle, but we think he has taken advantage of Rhodes absence. Look for him to make some plays.
Both Terrence Brooks and Chad Abrams are young players fighting for playing time. Brooks has gotten more buzz--for good reason--and dont't be surprised to see his physicality stand out. He really could play either CB or S. Abrams is in the Safety mix and might turn some heads, he looks the part.
Finally there is Terrance Parks. One of the returning starters at Safety, he has the experience to thrive. Is he ready to put it all together? It starts in the Spring.
We do not see any holes on this defense and expect them to "win" this game due to the injuries on the offensive line. Those injuries really put some pressure on the defense to perform and several players in the front seven should have big games.
This unit is DEEPER, more TALENTED, and more EXPERIENCED than a year ago. They also have the benefit of playing in Stoop's system for a second year. All that should equal an improved defense and it is very possible that FSU has done what seemed to be impossible--gone from one of the worst defenses in the country in 2009 to one of the best in 2011.