Starting 22: Defense

With the first game of the season less than two weeks away, NoleDigest examines the Florida State roster and makes projections on who will start at each position. Several spots still remain open, but time is winding down for players to lock up the spots. In this edition, we will look at the defense.

Free safety: Jamie Robinson and Terrance Parks will see the majority of the reps at this position this season. Parks has been missed some time at practice due to a sore hamstring and Robinson has played lights out football. Jamie could potentially have 10 interceptions in fall camp when it's all said and done and that is something that has been missed greatly at free safety in recent years.

Starter: Jamie Robinson



Rover: Positions of concern #1. Any time there is a liability with a team's last line of defense, there is a problem. Thus far in fall camp, nobody has stepped up at the position. Korey Mangum and Nick Moody will be the two main players fighting for time this season at rover. Freshman JaJuan Harley could also earn some playing time, but he also missed some practices earlier in camp setting him back a little. This position is still wide open. .

Starter: Korey Mangum



Cornerback: Opposite of Patrick Robison remains another question mark. Ochuko Jenije, Dionte Allen, A.J. Alexander, Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes are all fighting for playing time but no one has really stood out. The most impressive of the group would probably be true freshman Greg Reid, but it is unlikely a freshman will start on Labor Day here. .

Starters: Patrick Robinson and Ochuko Jenije



Linebacker: This position was pretty much set coming into camp. Nigel Bradham, Kendal Smith and Dekoda Watson came in as the starting trio and that wasn't expected to change. Nigel Carr has had a solid camp but will remain a back up this season. The wild card is Mister Alexander. Finally healthy, he has had an incredible first few weeks of practice and is making a serious push for playing time. I don't see him earning a starting job just yet though. .

Starter: Nigel Bradham, Kendal Smith and Dekoda Watson.



Defensive end: With the departure of Everette Brown, this position is wide open and needs someone to step up. Markus White will take over the right end spot which Brown held down last year. Fighting for the other spot has come down to Kevin McNeil and Toshmon Stevens. McNeil was thought to be the starter, but missed the first week of practice due to academic issues. That may come to haunt him when the official depth chart is released as Stevens has come on extremely strong in camp.

Starters: Markus White and Toshmon Stevens



Defensive tackle: Probably the biggest overall question mark on the team. Two seniors in Budd Thacker and Kendrick Stewart who have not had stellar careers at Florida State leaving many wondering if they can turn that around this season. Two underclassmen in Moses McCray and Jacobbi McDaniel have had strong camps and are looking to force a youth movement and place the older guys behind them. Stewart has come on this fall camp and Thacker continues to drop off which will reflect once the depth chart is released. Although McDaniel has been the most impressive of the group this camp, it is just too unlikely that a true freshman will start here, although I think he plays just as much as anyone in the Miami game and take the starting job by week 3. .

Starters: Kendrick Stewart and Moses McCray.


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