NoleDigest.com's Spring Wrap-Up

Spring 2009 has come to an end for Florida State as the team wrapped up spring practices earlier this week. In NoleDigest.com's final stock report we look at who finished the spring up, as well as who didn't have the spring that was expected. Also, we look at some things that we learned over the past several weeks.

While Florida State wrapped up its spring practice schedule earlier this week, some things we left up in the air heading into summer workouts. All spring NoleDigest has tracked the progress of FSU's players in its Stock Report. In the final installment we look at the 3 players who came out of spring playing well, and the 3 who'll need to regroup before the start of fall practices.

Week 3 Stock Report

Stock Up:

• Offensive line: 2009 will be the season FSU fans can stop worrying about the offensive line. This unit showed over the spring that they'll have depth to go along with all 5 returning starters.

Kendall Smith: Kendall often drew the fans ire during the 2008 season, but as last year wrapped up Kendall was playing well. Smith built on his strong Champs Bowl performance this spring and ended up with the best spring of any of the linebackers. It looks like the move to middle linebacker will pay off for Smith, as well as the ‘Noles, in 2009.

Patrick Robinson: Simply put Patrick is primed for a standout 2009. Barring injury an All-ACC season is well with-in Robinson's reach.

Others who were considered for this list: Brandon Jenkins (he'll play a ton in 2009), Rhonne Sanderson, Louis Givens, Jermaine Thomas and Jamie Robinson.

Stock Down:

Korey Mangum: Finding a replacement for Myron Rolle was a major priority for the coaches this spring, and they thought they had the spot filled with Korey. The transition didn't go well, and he was outplayed for the most part by Nick Moody and Terrance Parks.

Ochuko Jenije: The biggest thing that puts Ochuko on this list is his inconsistency. At times he played well, and others he looked completely lost.

Ty Jones: He's here mainly because of the fumbling problems. This needs to be corrected before the season starts. Ty is extremely talented, but fumbling will kill drives and kill Jones' chances to tote the rock.

6 Things We Learned This Spring

1. Christian Ponder still has room to grow: Christian had a rough start to spring, but in the end he ended playing well. He didn't make the progression in the passing game needed, but he is the leader of the offense going into next year.

2. FSU has a mess at wide receiver: This unit will be completely different from the one that played in 2008. Preston Parker is gone, Corey Surrency is still fighting the NCAA, Taiwan Easterling is rehabbing his Achilles injury, and now Rod Owens is the latest to join the police blotter. It is dire that at least one player steps up here to be a dependable threat for Ponder. We saw this spring that the potential is there with Jarmon Fortson and Avis Commack. Also, Givens proved this spring that he belongs at FSU. The general thought has been that Willie Downs will play wide receiver, but NoleDigest was told that if any freshmen "athletes" from the 2009 class move, it'll be Xavier Rhodes.

3. FSU's offensive line has the potential to be dominant: FSU returns all 5 starters along the line, and this spring players like Rhonne Sanderson and Atwane Greenlee showed they're ready to play a lot this upcoming season.

4. FSU will be a running team in 2009: With the line and the stable of running backs the ‘Noles have it looks as though FSU will look to control the clock and field position during the season. By no means does that mean FSU will not look to go downfield with the passing game. What it means is that the success of the offense will be predicated by the rushing attack, and that the coaches will set up the passing game from the ground. 200 yards a game is a very realistic goal for this offense.

5. The defense will be young: Moses McCray, Nigel Braham, Nigel Carr, Vince Williams, Brandon Jenkins, A.J. Alexander, Nick Moody and Dionte Allen will all play vital roles in FSU's defense. Look for the freshmen to battle for starting spots. There is a lot of talk that Greg Reid and Willie Downs may earn starting spots heading into the opener against Miami Labor Day weekend.

6. FSU will go anywhere from 10-2 to 8-4 in 2009: There's going to be improvement, but there are still way too many questions with the secondary, as well as too many questions with who's going to step up at wide receiver. FSU has a very good shot to play for the ACC title, but at the same time there's enough inexperience on the team that will lead to some close losses.


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