It was not E.J. Manuel's best day that is for sure, but he was alright and made several nice reads and throws. He was not able to use his size as there was no contact on the QBs.
He looks good physically and he showed last season that he is a bit of "gamer". Several throws were perfect underneath allowing the WRs to make plays after the catch. However today showed that he is a work in progress and there is room for improvement.
Clint Trickett was the Garnet's main QB and after a slow start he came on as the game progressed. He showed that he is a capable back-up at this point and his best days are still a few years out. Trickett showed some good mobility. He needs to gain some confidence, hopefully that happened today. Overall it was about what we expected today from Clint and he is on track in his FSU career. We still feel that if called upon for a spot start next year he can get the job done. He needs to gain weight.
Will Secord was the other scholarship QB and he struggled today. Secord should be ahead of Trickett based on seniority, but he clearly isn't. It does not appear that he will be a factor at FSU.
There was not a whole lot to report today in terms of RBs. Devonta Freeman showed why everyone is excited about him on a couple of runs, a stiff arm outside run was his best. It is clear that he loves FSU and he is going to be a major factor next year. His career will be exciting to watch.
The veterans, Jermaine Thomas and Ty Jones, have nothing to prove. Thomas had a nice outside run and Jones showed his strong inside game. Both players can be counted on to produce, neither have the upside of Freeman.
Dent had the best day and played exactly like you would expect a Muck WR to play. Tough, with great hands, he is the more than capable of stepping up next year. Haggins was targeted early and he is probably further along than many expected at this point. It was great to see Green catch some balls and gain confidence. He is fighting for PT and a strong summer could really put him in the mix.
Kenny Shaw was open a few times, but the balls were not on target. He almost came up with a big play late in the game.
Rodney Smith got deep late in the game on a beautiful catch where he used his size to make a play. Like Manuel, he has little to prove, he just needs to continue developing his all around game. Willie Haulstead and Bert Reed had quiet days.
Walk-on James Dolan had a nice afternoon. He got a TD and had a couple of other catches. He is from St. Thomas.
Tank Sessions did not play which left Willie Tye and Jabaris Little as the TEs. Both caught a couple of passes and were solid. This position will get deeper with the return of Beau Reliford and arrival of Nick O'Leary.
It was all about Jacob Fahrenkrug today who played Center. He was, at times, spectacular with his blocking and we feel he has a pretty good shot of starting at Center next year. There is a big need there and it simply might be where he fits. Having said that, the snapping needs to improve and that will likely happen with more reps. He appears to be a starter regardless(possible Guard) and was a HUGE pick-up.
Henry Orelus played Left Tackle for the Gold and had a very solid afternoon. He's versatile and will get on the field next season.
Jordan Prestwood had some nice moments and some times when he struggled. Very much to be expected at this point for a player who is supposed to be in high school.
There were some real struggles out there today offensively. However we should remember a couple of things: the starters were not playing together and there was an issue with depth on the OL(which affected both the time to throw and the run game).
The young players seemed to step up and we do not think the veterans are regressing.
At this point, we see the offense being as good as E.J. Manuel is. If he is great, this offense will difficult to stop. If he is fine, the offense will be fine. Sounds obvious, but that is the rub. FSU is very deep at RB and WR with a load of play-makers. The OL will be more than fine with the return of Datko and Sanders. It is Manuel's team.