Regrouping In A Hurry

Florida State lost its best deep threat when flanker <b>Craphonso Thorpe</b> suffered a broken lower right leg against North Carolina State last Saturday. Offensive coordinator <b>Jeff Bowden</b> has less than two weeks to find a replacement as the Seminoles begin to eye their regular-season finale at Florida Nov. 29. While candidates abound, Bowden wants his most productive player to step forward.

"I've erased all starting lineups at that position," Bowden said following Tuesday‘s practice.

"They've got two weeks to win that spot. Somebody is going to end up first, somebody is going to end up second and somebody is going to end up third. It's whoever prepares the hardest and practices the best the next two weeks."

The likely candidates to replace Thorpe include Chris Davis, Dominic Robinson and Lorne Sam.

However, Bowden has other options as well, including moving P.K. Sam from split end to flanker and elevating Willie Reid into Sam's spot. And let's not forget Chauncey Stovall as well. Stovall, listed at No. 3 at split end behind Sam and Reid, has recently emerged as a viable threat.

"Right now we are going through practice, so I have to do well in practice," Stovall said.

"Coach told us a spot is open. We have two weeks to see who really wants to be put in that spot. It's a good opportunity for me and everyone else who plays wide receiver."

Davis, a redshirt freshman from St. Petersburg, appears to be the most logical fit if he‘s able to demonstrate the needed consistency. Davis is the Seminoles' third-leading receiver with 22 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Davis also is probably the unit's quickest receiver in open spaces, though he admits he doesn't have Thorpe's blazing speed to go deep.

"I played quarterback in high school so I know I can throw deep," Davis said and laughed. "But I have good speed to go (deep), but I am not Craphonso."

Robinson, who has been slowed by a sore hamstring, is easily the unit's most experienced performer. However, he has been plagued by a lack of production -- 11 receptions for 183 yards and zero touchdowns -- and consistency. Still, Robinson is confident the Seminoles will step up in Thorpe's absence.

Be it one player or by committee.

"It's a good opportunity to show the world just how deep we are," Robinson said.

"We always talk about how deep Florida State is at this position and that position. We've been able to show that Chris Davis has done some good things, Chauncey has done some things. Historically at Florida State, there's no drop-off, no matter the position. So we are going to see how the week goes, we are going to try to find out if it's one guy, or is it going to be a host of guys who step in."

Thorpe, a junior who led the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns, was injured while blocking on the second-to-final play of the Seminoles' 50-44 victory over the Wolfpack. He broke the tibia and fibula bones in the leg.

"Cro was one of, if not our biggest playmaker," quarterback Chris Rix said.

"The spot's open for all of the receivers, whoever wants to star against Florida. Somebody is going to have to pick it up."

Nole Digest Top Stories