Fall camp for Florida State has had its highlights and lowlights. From surprise standouts to the injury bug making its rounds, the news for the Seminoles after the first week of camp has been mostly positive.
Like any other program FSU has gone through some ups and downs this past week. They've seen players lost for the year due to injury and the release of Jarmon Fortson, but they have also seen the defense progress and young players step up to the plate. NoleDigest highlights this week's top stories heading into the scrimmage.
1) Injuries plague the first week: The loss of Moses McCray to an ACL tear is the biggest hit FSU took this week. Moses has battled injuries throughout his career, but he was a guy that the coaches expected to be a contributor and in the defensive line rotation. Running back Tavares Pressley suffered his 3rd ACL tear, leaving his future in doubt. Avis Commack has been limited purposely has he comes back from the broken leg, and David Spurlock has missed some time for precautionary reasons.
2) The defense has made strides: We can all admit that FSU's defense pretty much hit rock bottom last year. On the insider forums NoleDigest has been talking about the emergence of the defensive line, leading the defense's revival of sorts. Anthony McCloud and Demonte McAllister are standing out to those close to the program, and Jacobbi McDaniel is having a good camp. Add the fact Brandon Jenkins looks like he is ready to make a huge leap in 2010, and the young guys stepping up, it looks as though we'll see a better unit this fall. The praise from the coaches and players has come daily. Junior running back Jermaine Thomas said this week, "it's a lot more competitive. It used to be a lot easier (moving the football). With the coaching they're getting and every (defender) being in the right spots makes it a lot tougher on our side. We need that, so that the mistakes we might make and see in the film room, we'll try and get better. It's not going to do anything but help us even more during the season." At this stage fans should be cautiously optimistic.
3) The 2010 class looks the part: Like Geoff Vogt said earlier this week, practice reports paint the picture that the team is succeeding in every facet. Nonetheless, the freshmen class has looked like it will have major contributors this year, and it looks like a foundation to build on moving forward. McCloud, Kenny Shaw, Christian Green, Greg Dent, Jarred Haggins, Christian Jones, Lamarcus Joyner, Bjoern Werner, Will Tye, Darious Cummings, Telvin Smith, Chad Abram and Jeff Luc all have garnered praise from Coach Fisher and staff.
A quick look at the scrimmage
Friday's scrimmage will be closed to the public and media so the details will be kept close to the vest, but we have heard the scrimmage will give Coach Fisher and his staff a chance to see where the team is at this time. There are a few position battles still on-going, so Friday could give us some inclination on where the depth chart sits heading into the second week of camp.
1) Defensive backfield: While it seems Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes are set at corner, and Nick Moody and Terrence Parks will start at safety, who lines up as their back-ups? The cross-training of Ochuko Jenije is intriguing. Jenije has always seemed more of a zone-type defensive back, and he has taken well to safety. JaJuan Harley is healthy. Can he push for time? Mike Harris has looked great and will compete for the starting role. Look for this to clear up a little Friday.
2) Running back: Running back has turned into a battle in camp. Thomas, Lonnie Pryor, Chris Thompson and Ty Jones all have had time with the first string, and each have had their moments. Each day we keep hearing about the surfacing of Lonnie's versatility, but earlier this week we were told Chris Thompson was still "first string".
3) Linebacker: Coach Hudson said this week he is cross training his linebackers across the board, therefore we really don't know who will line up where. You can probably pencil Nigel Bradham, Kendall Smith and Mister Alexander in as the "first string". Vince Williams playing outside this past spring was big now that Nigel Carr has been suspended, and we'll see what the young guys have in the first scrimmage. The depth chart is open and the competition is still pretty tight at this time.
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