Dear E.J.

Each year NoleDigest writes five letters to players and we open this segment with E.J. Manuel this year.

Dear E.J.,

When you were recruited it was generally thought that you would need some time to adjust to the college game, to develop physically and mentally. While many schools sold you on starting early in your career, you were recruited to FSU to be brought along slowly and that is exactly what has happened. Make no mistake, many players never have that "perfect scenario" play out, you have been fortunate enough to see it actually transpire.

You have starting experience both in regular season and in bowl games. You have won as a starter. You have gotten better each time out. All of these things should add up to a couple of stand-out seasons.

Manuel is ready to take FSU to the top
Steve Chase, Scout com

The team around you is as strong as any FSU starter has had since the 2002 season. Both starting OT's return, the running game returns everyone and adds Devonta Freeman/James Wilder, and there are 6-7 quality WR's to throw to. The defense is as good as it has been in a long time. All this adds up to high expectations from a fanbase that is hungry to get back into the national scene.

It is amazing that everything has gone according to plan, it is perhaps a sign that you will be the third FSU QB to win a National Title, perhaps back to back? That is the way we feel. The confidence in you is amazing, many fans were calling for you to start last year when Christian Ponder was banged up a little. We are confident that you are the guy to get us where we need to be.

Spring ball is over and teams enter about a three month period where players are running the show in terms of getting better. This is where you need to shine as a leader and captain. We feel this is critical that the players are focused on getting better. We feel you are the man to get them there.

No one understands the offense like you and no one can execute it like yourself. This is your time. The first big test will come in game three when Oklahoma rolls into town. A win in that game puts FSU exactly where they need to be in the national title hunt, it should be the last bit of confidence this team needs, and it is a win that could catapult you to be known as one of the top QBs in the country(we already think this).

Stay focused, stay hungry, and the rest will take care of itself. We think you have an opportunity to win not just one, but two national title's. It is right there for the taking. It is time to seize the opportunity and that begins by being prepared. There is nothing to be nervous about, you know, the coaches know, the fans know, and of course your teammates know that you are the man. Take that confidence and go out and do the things we know you are capable of doing and you shall leave Tallahassee a legend.

Our good and whacked out friend Charlie Sheen has coined the phrase "winning". Winning football games is what matters. You have the ability to run and throw, use both attributes to win football games. Your feet are a huge asset to this offense

There are no "do-overs" in college football, one loss can take the opportunity away. It is critical that the QB understands the importance of EVERY game. We have lost far too many games over the last eight years showing up flat. Those days are now over. It is your time and we are confident that you will be mentioned with the Charlie Ward's and Chris Weinke's in the future.

Play to your ability, play to your seasoning, put your offensive players in position to make plays, and play CLUTCH. You are already a champion in our eye's, it is time to show the rest of the country what the buzz is about.

Our National Champion is Florida State and our National Championship game MVP is E.J. Manuel. We expect to hear this in January. Take what is yours.

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