Florida State looks to rebound from back to back 7-6 seasons this year as they continue the upward swing under the new coaching staff. A key position for the Seminoles this year will be at quarterback. NoleDigest introduces the players who we'll see play in 2008, talking about why they came to FSU and a scouting report on what we'll see from them this year.
Name: Drew Weatherford
Why he chose Florida State: Drew chose Florida State over Auburn and Tennessee because it was closer to home, and as he says, God intended on him being a Nole. Getting the opportunity to have his family watch him play was important, and having a legend like Bobby Bowden helped lure in Weatherford. Finally, the Noles were in the middle of a quarterback conundrum, so there was an opportunity there for Weatherford down the line.
Scouting Report: Drew's been the starter for 3 years and enters his final year at FSU. He is getting stiff competition from others on the roster as a player, but none can match the leadership he brings to the table. Drew knows the playbook, is a respected and hard worker on the team and loves the game of football. There may not be a bigger fan of FSU than Drew on the team. He's going to have to improve if he wants the job in 2008.
Name: Christian Ponder
Why he chose Florida State: Ponder was familiar with the school as he had a brother, sister, sister-in-law, cousin and brother-in-law who attended FSU. Soon after the offer came he committed to then FSU coaches Kevin Steele, Darryl Dickey and John Lilly over schools like Baylor, North Carolina and Georgia Tech. Christian, who is a very smart student athlete, was also intrigued by the school's up and coming medical program.
Scouting Report: Christian gained invaluable experience this spring when Drew had to sit out with the knee injury. Christian showed control of the playbook and team, and he's taken that and built it up to a summer and fall camp that has people believing he'll be the starter going into the season. He's shown he has a stronger arm than people think as he can make all of the throws, and he has the ability to make plays on the run. He's been arguably the most consistent player since the spring, thus there is a good shot that Ponder will play major, major minutes this year.
Name: D'Vontrey Richardson
Why he chose Florida State: Richardson chose FSU over Georgia and Clemson because they gave him an opportunity to play football and baseball. He also liked Coach Dickey and Coach Allen as well as Coach Mike Martin.
Scouting Report: Richardson has the strongest arm the team and he's a threat every time he touches the ball. Richardson loves playing the game of football and you see that in his play. He's gaining more and more confidence at the quarterback position and looks to be a serious contender for the starting position. Whether or not he wins the job or not, Richardson will play this year.
Name: Erik Jr. Manuel
Why he chose Florida State: Manuel was a much ballyhooed recruit who chose the Noles over LSU, Penn State, Alabama and a host of other schools. E.J. liked the opportunity and the long history FSU has with producing some of the best athletes. Also, Jimbo Fisher and his reputation played maybe the biggest roll in landing E.J. Manuel as he liked what Fisher did with JaMarcus Russell at LSU.
Scouting Report: E.J. has come along slowly as he's been adjusting to the college game, but he's done very well when he's had time with the ones. He's already become a leader on the team and has gained the respect of his teammates. Many people feel that Manuel is the most gifted quarterback on the roster right now, but it may be too early to get him in the mix with the other concerns this team has. Manuel has shown flashes that he can contribute, and it may be hard to hold him back down the line. 2009 may be when we see Manuel at his full potential.