Practice Notebook: Who's switching positions?

The Seminoles returned to practice Monday after Thursday's loss at NC State with the hopes of finding a few extra bodies to make up for yet another injured player. So who is switching and who is staying? Also included in the notebook: Coach Bobby Bowden talks about backup QB Xavier Lee and whether or not there is a plan for him this weekend.

Traditionally speaking, the Florida State defense is known for its constant rotation of players.

But five games into the season, some moves along the depth chart haven't been out of habit but rather necessity. Injuries have plagued the unit like any other season in recent memory.

First it was starting nose guard Paul Griffin going down with a season-ending knee injury in the second game. His loss meant the movement of then-starting defensive end Alex Boston to the inside. It was felt that Boston would be better suited for defensive tackle thus Andre Fluellen was forced to slide over to nose guard.

Now, however, it appears as though Fluellen and Boston will be swapping positions.

"It's a little difficult having to go back and forth and then back to my original position but it's just helping me with my versatility," Fluellen said Monday. "Everything is going alright … a lot of the techniques and stuff are the same so it's not really a huge difference."

Continuing with the theme of moving back and forth, true freshman Dekoda Watson is headed back to the position he started his career with.

The South Carolina native – because of the loss of linebackers Derek Nicholson, Jae Thaxton and Marcus Ball – has been moved to weakside linebacker to provide depth.

He worked Monday night on the second team base defense and first team squad when it switches to a 3-4 scheme.

"All these transitions I just feel like it's best for the team," Watson said. "We've got some injuries … the coaches know what they are doing and I trust them."

Linebacker turned safety turned linebacker again Toddrick Verdell is also now figuring into the equation as is true freshman Recardo Wright, who, as of two weeks ago, was slated to redshirt.

The Orlando native is now the second-team Mike linebacker while Verdell is the No. 2 SAM 'backer


With all the switching and swapping that is occurring on the defensive side of the ball, there is one player that isn't going anywhere: first-year tailback Marcus Sims.

It has long been rumored that Sims would make the move to linebacker at some point in his career because of the skills he showed there in the prep ranks. Now, with a plethora of injuries ravaging that position at FSU, it seems like the most likely time for him to do that.

But because of a promise made by coaches and his desire to remain an offensive player, it's not going to happen.

"(Coach) promised me and so far he has kept his word," Sims said about the coaches not approaching him about moving to defense. "People are always going to talk about if I am going to switch over but the players joke around about it and laugh about it but it's nothing serious."


On the possibility of getting backup quarterback Xavier Lee some reps this weekend:

"We haven't decided anything on that yet. Maybe by Thursday we will have a plan. Sure would like to get him in the game. You'd hate to set a plan and then it's impossible. You set a plan to go in at a certain time and you are backed up at the two-yard line … we could possibly have a plan for it."

On Lee's performance at practice:

"He's doing some good things. He's just a spring training behind. It's a shame he couldn't have gone through spring training. (There's) no wonder what might have happened had he got all 50 days of spring training. He's still trying to catch up. I watch him throw everyday. You know, I watch him everyday and I don't see the consistency I want yet but it will come. When it does I will feel a lot better about putting him in there."

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