10 With Something to Prove: DBs

With camp underway NoleDigest continues to look at the players Florida State needs to step up so they can have the season they expect. In this installment we look at the defensive side of the ball.

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 3 defensive backs that need to show in camp they are ready to step up and make major contributions to the defense this fall.

Nick Moody

Last year Nick had to redshirt because of a nagging shoulder injury. The Pennsylvania product entered spring with the idea that he would take the rover position vacated by the graduation of Myron Rolle.

During spring Moody was still battling the shoulder injury, but towards the end Moody came on strong. He had a good spring game where he was able to cause some turnovers for the defense. Moody left spring as the second team rover, and entering camp that is where he sits now.

What does Nick need to do in 2009?

We aren't sure what we will get from Nick, but he has just as a shot as any to step up this fall at rover. Look for Mangum to start early because he is a senior, but Moody has the potential to earn the starting role.

Nick has the size and football smarts to be a force, and he is much better suited than anyone else to play rover in Mickey Andrew's defense. Nick needs to take this camp, get all of the reps he can, and lock up this spot. Word is Nick is more focused then ever before, and that has been half the battle for Moody. If he can come in, cover the tight end, be a force in run support and create turnovers, FSU will be fine.

Ochuko Jenije

Entering his redshirt junior season Jenije has been the guy pegged as the starter opposite Patrick Robinson. Over the past 2 season Ochuko has been a primary back-up and nickel back for the Seminoles.

Over this past spring Jenije was given ample opportunity to lock up his spot, but he often times struggled to be a consistent player for the ‘Noles. That inconsistency has been seen during games as Ochuko will make a play here, then get beat several times after.

This camp is important for him as Dionte Allen, A.J. Alexander and freshmen Greg Reid are nipping at his tails to earn the starting spot.

What does Ochuko need to do in 2009?

Simply put he needs to step up and earn the spot. He has good size and speed, but often times he takes too many chances. With the extra reps he has had since last spring he needs to continue to learn the nuances of the position.

He is the most experienced guy looking to earn this spot in terms of playing time. Truth be told, Patrick Robinson isn't going to be tested much this year so the other cornerback needs to be ready to go.

This is Ochuko's final shot to earn the spot. With younger guys like Allen and Reid naturally gifted and talented, Jenije may not see much time if the others pass him up.

Look for guys like Korey Mangum and Terrence Parks to possibly see time at corner this year, too.

Terrance Parks

The sophomore saw spot duty last year as a freshman as a corner, but soon after the season started Terrance battled a nagging knee injury causing him to miss a lot of time.

With his elite size the coaches moved Parks to safety because they needed the depth, and they felt he had more potential to be a safety. Parks has the tools be special but he needs this camp to tie it together.

What does Parks need to do in 2009?

Terrance just needs to adapt to his new position. He wants to play corner, and there is a chance that he'll see some minutes there, but the coaches see him as a free safety. That is where Terrance is needed as there is no depth behind starter Jamie Robinson.

If Parks can stay injury free he could be a force. He has to want to want it also. He has every opportunity the fall to see a lot of time. He needs to learn the spot this camp and show he can be a guy the coaches can lean on.

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