The 2009 football season is right around the corner. This time of year is full of anticipation and high expectations as Florida State is coming of a 9-4 season and a tromping of Wisconsin in the bowl game last year. There is talent there for FSU to continue the climb back towards the nation's elite, but there is a small group of players that need to play well in order for the season to go the way many hope it will.
NoleDigest takes a look at that group of players as we talk about what the Seminoles need from them to for 2009 to be a successful season.
Entering his final year at Florida State Justin Mincey is looking to lock himself in as the starting nose guard for 2009. The 6'5" 280 pound Mincey had moved back and forth from the interior of the line to defensive end early in his Seminole career, but 2008 was his first full year as FSU's nose guard.
In 2008 Mincey started 4 games, including the Wisconsin bowl game where he played very well, while also playing in 9 total games overall. Mincey matched his career totals last year as he had 9 tackles with 4.5 for loss. Against Colorado, Boston College, Florida and Wisconsin Mincey showed flashes that he could be a strong force for FSU.
What Justin Needs to Do in 2009?
Simply put Justin needs to be the force many people have thought he'd be coming to FSU. Early in his career Justin couldn't focus solely on football as he had to make sure he got the academic side of things squared away. Entering this year Mincey has done very well recently in the classroom, so that burden shouldn't been on him. Those close to the program have said Mincey has had a great off-season as he's in great shape, and word is he's taken a business approach to this year.
Florida State defenses have always been predicated on a strong front line. The ‘Noles lost Paul Griffin to graduation, otherwise the entire interior unit returns. Mincey has to be the guy to anchor the defensive line, and he has to be the guy who'll demand double teams to allow the defensive ends to get up field, and the linebackers to make the plays Mickey Andrews has always wanted from that unit.
Statistically Justin hasn't shown much, but he has the talent to be a good combo of a pass rushing/run stuffing nose guard FSU normally has. With question marks at defensive end Mincey has to step up, stop the run and get pressure up the middle for FSU. Last year the ‘Noles struggled with that, and this year they can't do that with new defensive ends and a secondary that will feature 2 new starters.
If Mincey can accumulate at least 10 tackles-for-loss and be a whole plugging lineman, FSU will have what it needs. He's had the summer to workout (he didn't last year as he had the academic woes) and has the potential to be a force inside for FSU. This group has several question marks therefore Mincey has to take a leadership role and play well in 2009.
10 With Something to Prove: Justin Mincey
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