The leader: Jamie Robinson, RS SR
Last Season: Started six games playing in 13. 37 tackles, 1 INT.
The good:Robinson has continued to grow as a safety enhancing several areas of his game. Most notable is his range. During Florida State's spring game, he showed his ability to cover the field in a hurry when he ran down a pass that looked to be out of play and intercepted it. Robinson also made another acrobatic INT on a high pass by Christian Ponder. His past experience at cornerback definitely helps him excel in coverage.
The bad: Robinson has shown his ability to cover but making tackles in the open field has been one of his weak points. He is great at stepping up and making tackles in a crowd, but when he is one on one in the open field, it is a toss up if he is going to bring down the defender, which has been a problem for most of the secondary during the spring. As long as Robinson can become more consistent here, he will lock down the job with ease for the season.
The contenders: D'Vontrey Richardson, RS JR. Terrance Parks, SO.
Richardson:Richardson is a freak athlete. We have yet to see him play the position due to playing baseball this spring, but his athleticism alone will be enough to get him on the field. If he can learn Mickey Andrew's defense, he could be a natural at the position. Richardson also played a little free safety in high school which could help him with the learning curve.
Parks: Parks is a former cornerback who has great ball skills and is very good in coverage. He has good size for a safety at 6-1, 200 pounds and moves very well in the open field. Parks is cross-training at free safety and rover so it will be interesting to see where he end up spending most of his time.
Richardson: Lack of experience at the college level. Richardson has never played safety in college and missed this spring due to baseball causing him a lot of lost learning time. He will need to work extremely hard over the summer and into fall camp in order to catch up and earn playing time.
Parks:Parks is also new to the position and still learning Andrew's defensive schemes. At times during the spring, he looked confused and left receivers open for easy catches where he should have been to break plays up. Once he finds a comfort zone at the position, he will be fine.
Post-spring verdict:There is no reason to believe that if Robinson can stay healthy, he will be the starter free safety all season long and take the majority of reps during games. He has experience and the skills necessary to start and should blossom even more this season. Richardson and Parks are both very raw but could earn playing time if they take the time to learn the playbook. As for now however, they will be sitting behind Robinson.
Freshman that could compete for playing time: Willie Downs if he qualifies, which is still up in the air at this point. Downs has all the athleticism in the world and great size that would make him an instant competitor for playing time.
Key losses:Darius McClure (graduation)
Post-spring position breakdown: FS
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