Freshman WR is Stepping Up
Coach Bobby Bowden has become accustomed to the situation. Good receivers turn into great receivers. Great receivers turn pro. And, once they've moved on, there are holes to fill.
So spring is the time for new players to step up. One of the up-and-coming receivers has been Kenny O'Neal, whose speed gives him the potential to be a valuable asset to the passing attack.
During Monday's half-scrimmage Xavier Lee connected with O'Neal on a deep fade route for a 34-yard touchdown, the first of the spring. O'Neal finished the day with 3 receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
"If our quarterbacks can get time to throw, (O'Neal) can get behind the guy," Bowden said.
Lee added, "If you try to jam him, he can speed away and make the catch."
The biggest difference this spring, according to O'Neal, is his knowledge of the offense. When he practiced last season he was just learning.
"Last year I didn't know much of the offense and I had to think about what I was going to run," O'Neal said. "Now I don't have to think as much, just do my actions."
Bowden said that O'Neal could replace departing receiver Craphonso Thorpe as the Seminoles vertical threat.
"He will come in that same category as a speed receiver," Bowden said.
O'Neal redshirted in his first year after sitting out several games while waiting for the NCAA Clearinghouse to approve his eligibility status. If O'Neal had been available last season, Bowden said his speed probably could've made an impact on the team.
"You always want to go out and give it a stab, but it's just a learning process," O'Neal said.
Nole Digest Top Stories
The Opening Finals 2017 Official RosterThe official 2017 roster of the Nike+ Football The Opening Finals featuring the participants selected from The Opening Regional camp stops...
Scout FootballYesterday at 7:00 AM
NCAA Recruiting Rules Changes: Pros & ConsScout breaks down the pros and cons of the new football recruiting rules voted upon by the NCAA.
Dalvin Cook is the NFL Draft's best BackDalvin Cook is a home run threat to take it to the house from all over the field. Check out his most devastating runs right here!
Four-Star CB Asante Samuel, Jr. Is FSU BoundThe Florida State Seminoles just received a major boost to their recruiting class with a commitment from 2018 four-star cornerback, Asante Samuel, Jr.