Spring Preview: Cornerback

Spring practice is on the horizon for Florida State. With practice slated to start after spring break NoleDigest starts to preview positions for the Seminoles. The first position we will look at is cornerback.

Florida State has been preparing for spring football over the past several weeks as the team has taken part in off-season workouts. With spring practice right around the corner the team is gearing up for what is expected to be an exciting, busy practice schedule.

With new coaches all over the staff positions are wide open across the team, especially on the defense. The cornerback spot is open as any on the team, and it is expected that the coaches will let the players compete for the starting spots.

NoleDigest previews the positions are talks about what we may see after the spring is over.

With new Mark Stoops on staff many expect the defensive backs to play much better than they have over the past few seasons. There is a good amount of talent on the depth chart and each one has a clean slate as they're learning the new schemes the defense plans on having.

Key Losses: Patrick Robinson

Key Returnees: Ochuko Jenije, Greg Reid, Dionte Allen and Xavier Rhodes

2009 in Review: Overall this unit as a whole did not play well as they gave up a ton of yardage on did not make many plays. Ochuko Jenije was tied for the team lead with 4 interceptions, but it was arguably freshman Greg Reid who made the most impact from Game 1. Dionte Allen played well here and there but he battled a boatload of injured throughout the season. Based off of 2009 the spring is open to any and all.

Likely starters heading into spring: Greg Reid and Ochuko Jenije

What to expect this spring: There is a lot of excitement as the new coaches bring a different mindset and scheme that these players are eager to play in. After years of man-to-man this team is expected to play more of a zone, allowing these players the chance to make plays and use their athleticism in different ways.

When you look at the depth chart heading in there are only 4 true corners that look to get reps during spring. Jenije is the most experienced of the group and is the leader, Reid is the most exciting and likely to be the playmaker the Seminoles haven't had in a while, Allen is looking to stay healthy, and word is Rhodes is the best of the bunch and has the most potential. There may be some walk-ons that'll see time, too.

It is important that these players use the 15 or so practices over spring to learn what Coach Stoops is looking for from his players. Look for the coaches to work on technique, explosiveness, and different coverage techniques.

With Patrick Robinson moving on it's important that one or more of the players step up and take the role as a shut-down defender. This will be Rhodes' first chance to really get the chance to prove his worth, so keep an eye out for him as he has the size, speed and moxy to be a guy to step up this spring.

Many feel that Greg Reid more than likely will be one starter, so the battle is who will earn the other starting spot once spring is over.

Questions to ponder: Is there enough depth at the position? Can Dionte Allen stay healthy enough to play a significant role? Is Greg Reid ready to assume more of a role? Can Xavier take that natural ability and translate that to the field? Is one of the spots just staying warm until Mike Harris arrives in the summer?


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