Recruiting Road Map

In this second of three installments, FSU recruiting coordinator John Lilly breaks down the Seminoles' defensive needs. "We signed only one defensive back of any kind last year (Pat Watkins) and he's going to be a great player. Obviously, when you only sign one one year you better sign five or even six the next year," Lilly said of FSU's secondary concerns.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Need: Hot

"You always look at the defensive line in two different segments, interior and end. Everybody talks about the pass rush the last couple of years. I think against Florida it was probably the best it has been on a consistent basis in the last two years. Made them throw the ball away some and made it very difficult (to throw). You factor in some throwaways in there, it's as good as a sack though they don't lose the yardage. It was very reassuring. ... but you kind of lose your top guy there in Alonzo (Jackson) and a guy who has really contributed a lot in Eric Powell. And now you are starting to get older in there (interior). Darnell Dockett will be a senior, Travis Johnson a junior, Jeff Womble a senior. You get older guys in there who are about to be gone, so it's very important inside. And at the end, you are always trying to upgrade the position and get those pass rushers. You have to have great pass rushers at defensive end. Again, they have improved but we have to be able to get guys where that comes natural to them. Certainly, there's plenty of them out there every year it's just a matter of being able to sign about three of them."

Linebackers

Need: Medium

"On the surface, it's probably medium because you have so many back. You have Michael (Boulware) back, you assume you have Kendyll (Pope) back, you have Allen (Augustion) back – he has done really, really a great job and probably has overachieved a little bit. And you have some of your guys, the guys like A.J. Nicholsons who saw some action this year. On the surface it doesn't look hot but then when you consider Michael, Kendyll and Allen are all senior, it becomes a little bit hotter. It's very similar to the year when Michael and Kendyll were freshmen. You had Tommy Polley and Brian Allen and guys who had started for awhile, they were seniors and it didn't look like we needed anybody. But Michael and Kendyll came in and gave us some very valuable time and they've started ever since. It's kind of the same atmosphere. You have senior starters all across the board but it won't be too long – a year from now – and we are sitting here trying to figure out who is going to place them. It's wide open."

Secondary

Need: Hot

"You start looking. ... we lose Malcom Tatum and we have all the rest back. But again it's so top-heavy. There's seniors and maybe a couple juniors in there. Their all together. We didn't sign any corners last year, so that's a position of great need this year, particularly, with what we do in the secondary. We play so much man coverage that even the safeties have to be able to play it. You are almost playing with three corners and a safety, to a point, in certain parts of the game. Or when you go into the nickel, four corners and a safety. Other times you are playing two safeties and two corners in sense of their assignments and what they are suppose to do. So, that's going to be very, very imporant. We signed only one defensive back of any kind last year (Pat Watkins) and he's going to be a great player. Obviously, when you only sign one one year you better sign five or even six the next year."

Kicker Need: Medium

"Obviously, we lose our punter (Chance Gwaltney) so we are going to be looking for a punter. Right now there's no built-in (replacement) who can take it over. Xavier (Beitia) did a very good job, an adequate job kicking off this year. But if you can take that off of him this year, I think it helps him as a placekicker. Especially when our offense is playing good because that's a whole bunch more times you are swinging your leg on a Saturday. If you can take that off of him, where you can have somebody who can kick it off into the end zone 90-percent of the time, you would love to have that opportunity to do that for him and for us."

Part III: Offense


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