Anthony McCloud (junior)
Everett Dawkins (junior)
Jacobbi McDaniel (junior)
Moses McCray (junior)
Demonte McAllister (sophomore)
Darious Cummings (sophomore)
Cameron Erving (freshman)
Timmy Jernigan (freshman)
Nile Lawrence-Stample (freshman)
Derrick Mitchell (freshman)
This is a unit that was VERY young during the 2010 season. However, the expectation is that this group continues to improve as they get more experience, size and depth.
Early in the 2011 season, that is exactly what has happened. There is no star right now for the 'Noles, but Jernigan seems to possess the potential to one day take that role. McCloud and Dawkins appear to have locked down playing time for the rest of their careers. McCray can't seem to get past the injury bug. McDaniel is a player that needs to step up his game. He is no longer a youngster.
The sophomores are unproven but both have elite athletic gifts. We might see them on the field a little more down the stretch this season. Erving appears to be an outstanding under the radar pickup from southern Georgia. His improvement since arriving is stunning, and a case can be made that his ceiling is as high as anyone on the roster. As expected, Jernigan has made an instant impact, and everyone raves about his future. That was a huge pull from the Gators a year ago. By all accounts, Lawrence-Stample is ahead of schedule. We think Mitchell gets a long look on the offensive line in the spring. His ceiling might be there.
Florida State appears to be bringing in a plethora of riches at this position. Shanks is a national recruit from the top talent-producing program in Alabama. Stuckey is a local product that bleeds garnet and gold. Hamilton is a potential nose guard that possesses mammoth size (6-3, 335). While things look great today, they could get even better if the no. 1 defensive tackle in the country, Goldman, wants to jump on board. FSU is in good shape with a long way to go there.
It should be noted that there is some question marks with the commitments. FSU will have to fight until signing day to keep Shanks from the in-state schools. Stuckey has some work to do in the classroom, and many project Hamilton to the offensive line.
The "Future" Future
The position appears to be set for the next four to five years. Everyone returns in 2012, and there is young talent being brought in to not only push the incumbants, but also to learn from the experienced players. FSU should continue on the rise through 2012. Graduation will hurt, but Jernigan and Erving appear to be the cornerstones of the next group. Throw in McAllister and Cummings, and this unit should not lose a beat.
This position was an embarassment a few years ago. In as little as two to three years, everything has changed and it is now a strength of the team. The pure numbers and talent are in line with what we expect at FSU today.
There is no reason to think that production will not continue to increase, and we feel there is a lot of next-level talent at this position, particularly in the younger classes.