Spring roster breakdown: Defense part 2

With spring practice set to begin in less than a month, Renegade Report will be providing analysis of every player on the FSU football roster. First up, part two the defensive players, names M through W.

Korey Mangum:
Texas native has had to battle with a talented depth chart since he stepped foot on campus in 2005. Entering spring of 2007, Mangum will be competing for backup duties at one of the two cornerback spots. He will likely be a fulltime contributor on special teams.

Kevin McNeil:
True sophomore was one the bright spots of 2006 Seminoles team that was a disappointment. Despite missing the second half of summer workouts and most of two-a-days last year, McNeil proved that he has the potential to become a dominant pass-rusher for FSU. Question now is, what can he do with a full offseason under his belt?

Ryan McMahon:
One of the more popular rumors that periodically pops up around Seminole land is that McMahon could find wind up switching from defensive tackle to a spot on the defensive line. While a scenario such as that one is always a possibility, FSU's addition of some soon-to-be freshmen and the depth concerns on the defensive line means the Georgia native will spend the spring working for Odell Haggins.

Justin Mincey:
Was moved to defensive tackle last year and played a lot more than expected because of depth concerns. Mincey is a physical specimen that will benefit from a full offseason to better learn the defense at both the end on the inside. By the time spring is over, we should know where on the line the 6-foot-6 defender will line up in his sophomore season.

Neefy Moffett:
Continues to improve as he grows as a Seminole. Moffett has been a consistent performer for Haggins' defensive tackle depth chart in his two years as a Seminole. Will this be the season where he takes the next step and becomes a playmaker for the Garnet and Gold?

Derek Nicholson:
No. 55 is coming off a nasty knee injury that he sustained playing in his home state of North Carolina last season against the Wolfpack. Nicholson is still rehabilitating so his status for the spring is still up in there air. If he can get back healthy, Nicholson has as good of a shot as anyone on the roster of earning the starting spot at middle linebacker left vacated by FSU graduate Buster Davis.

Jamie Robinson:
Had a solid first year of playing for FSU last year but showed his inexperience several times throughout the year. Robinson is the biggest of all the cornerbacks on the Seminole roster and has the tools to become a good player. This is an important spring for the South Carolina native as he possibly pushes for a starting spot.

Patrick Robinson:
Like the other Robinson, Patrick has the opportunity to turn a strong spring into a rise on the depth chart before the start of the 2007 season. The soft-spoken Miami native became a special teams playmaker for the Tribe in his year in Tallahassee last season and the sky is the limit for the talented athlete.

Myron Rolle:
What more can you say about everyone's favorite Seminole? Rolle was everything he was advertised to be coming out of high school as one of the nation's premier prospects. If the sky is the limit for Robinson, the galaxy is the limit for FSU's starting rover. The New Jersey native is just a true sophomore but is entering his second spring practice period with the 'Noles after enrolling in college early. Expect big things.

Budd Thacker:
Because of injuries, the expected redshirt for the former Seminole High standout quickly came off and Thacker was thrust into meaningful minutes for the FSU defense. He didn't disappoint and played well for a first-year player. Thacker provides quality depth in the middle of the line and is already a vocal leader for the Seminoles.

Jae Thaxton:
You've got to feel for Thaxton. Arguably FSU's biggest and hardest hitter, the Georgia native has battled with concussion problems the last two seasons that have caused him to miss an extended period of time. He will likely be allowed to participate in the spring but he has to be careful to avoid anymore head trauma or his collegiate career may be in jeopardy for safety reasons.

Toddrick Verdell:
Verdell spent time at both safety and linebacker last season. By the time the spring practice period is over, will he be penciled in to the depth chart in the secondary or as a 'backer? Only time will tell in answering that question.

Dekoda Watson:
Like Verdell, Watson spent time at two positions in his first year with FSU. He started his career at linebacker but switched to defensive end before being switched back to linebacker before the season was over. It is likely that he will start where he finished when the spring practice period kicks off but if he keeps growing, don't be surprised if Watson is an end before the start of '07.

Roger Williams:
Veteran safety was poised to step in and become the next big thing for the Seminole defense last year but it never transpired in his redshirt junior campaign. Williams has the capability of being a menacing force deep in the backfield but it has yet to come to fruition. FSU needs that to happen this year without much depth at the position.

Recardo Wright:
Just like Thacker, Wright, another central florida product, had to play a little earlier than expected because of injuries a year ago. Entering his sophomore campaign, Wright has the chance to earn valuable playing time for new linebackers coach Chuck Amato.

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