FSU News and Notes

Florida State has is finishing off the opening week of practice of the 2013 campaign and the season is now right around the corner. NoleDigest has some news and notes from the team and recruiting.

Florida State loses a wide receiver

Senior wide receiver Willie Haulstead's FSU career appears to be over due to being academically ineligible. This is a tough blow as FSU loses some size on the outside and it was generally believed that Haulstead was finally recovered both mentally and physically.

Haulstead will have one of the stranger careers in FSU history as he led the team as a sophomore in receiving (2010) and basically never saw the field again.

The loss will put more pressure on Kelvin Benjamin to be that big target in the passing game. Freshmen Isaiah Jones is the only other receiver that is 6-foot-2 plus.

Pender is cleared

There were some nerves that Mario Pender was not out on the practice field the first day, but the last hurdle has been cleared and Pender is ready to go.

Overall reports are extremely positive on Pender over the past six months and he is expected to provide a spark to the running game with game-breaking speed.

Newberry move to TE, Kerr might need surgery

The Tight End position has been hit hard already at FSU with Kevin Haplea out for the season and Christo Kourtzidis transferring. In reaction FSU has moved Giorgio Newberry to TE. The 6-6, 275 pound Newberry played in the rotation at DE a year ago and should be able to provide solid blocking from day one. It remains to be seen how much of a threat he is in the passing game.

Freshmen Jeremy Kerr was in a great position to receive early playing time, but he is on crotches and appears to have cartilage damage. The good news is that if he requires surgery, he should only miss about a month of the season. The bad news is that for a freshmen, August Camp is extremely important and Kerr will face an uphill battle to get on the field this season as it will be hard to build that trust.

Look for some interesting defensive packages

One thing that FSU has a ton of is athletes on defense and they come in a wide range of size and play-making ability. The defensive backfield is creating some buzz as 7-8 players are considered to be 'starter types'. Don't be surprised to see 6 or perhaps even 7 on the field at the same time. Players like Karlos Williams, Lamarcus Joyner, and Tyler Hunter can move around and create some difficult match-ups. Looking at the schedule, certainly the Clemson offense could see some of these 'new' looks.

FSU hosts important OL recruit

The long awaited visit of Frank Ragnow took place Thursday and the inside word is that FSU is in good shape at this time. Ragnow figures to take his time with the process, but FSU will be in line for an official down the road and he realizes the opportunity that exists at OT. Ragnow will visit Gainesville next, but FSU appears to be in better shape at this time. Ragnow, along with Roderick Johnson and Damian Prince, appear to be the most realistic targets at OT. Prospects like Marcus Applefield, Jake Stickler, David Sharpe, and several others are also being heavily recruited.

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