CB/KR/PR Greg Reid
9-17-11 OKLAHOMA
9-24-11 at Clemson
10-8-11 at Wake Forest
10-15-11 at Duke
10-22-11 MARYLAND
11-3-11 at Boston College (Thur.)
11-12-11 MIAMI FL
11-19-11 VIRGINIA
11-26-11 at Florida
Coach: Jimbo Fisher
10-4, 1 year

2010 Statistics

2010 RESULTS: 10-4
at Oklahoma LOST 17-47
at Virginia WON 34-14
at Miami FL WON 45-17
at North Carolina State LOST 24-28
at Maryland WON 30-16
Virginia Tech LOST 33-44
South Carolina WON 26-17


Off. Coordinator/Tight Ends: James Coley
Previous: FSU Off. Coor. / TE Coach

Def. Coordinator/Defensive Backs: Mark Stoops
Previous: FSU Def. Coor./DB Coach

Quarterbacks: Dameyune Craig
Previous: FSU QB Coach

Running Backs/Special Teams: Eddie Gran
Previous: FSU RB/Special Teams Coach

Receivers: Lawrence Dawsey
Previous: FSU WR Coach

Offensive Line: Rick Trickett
Previous: FSU OL Coach

Defensive Line: Odell Haggins
Previous: FSU DL Coach

Defensive Ends: D.J. Eliot
Previous: FSU DE Coach

Linebackers: Greg Hudson
Previous: FSU LB Coach


2010 Final Rankings
AP-17, Coaches-16, BCS-23


One aspect in Tallahassee has become abundantly clear...just like in the glorious dynasty days of old, head coach Jimbo Fisher is discovering that depth kills. There has not been an FSU team this deep since the millennium hit. Recruiting has been super kind and is the prime reason why the 2011 expectations are so high from most every preseason poll out there. The only unit that is a major concern is the offensive line. And that is due in part to an injury bug that has run rampant all spring. All those sitting out are expected to return to full health in time for August camp, but this is one area where depth is not plentiful. Well-respected line coach Rich Trickett is still one of this team's most valuable assets.

The luring of defensive coordinator Mark Stoops from Arizona among other defensive hires has transformed this side of the ball. That and an incoming abundance of high school superstars are about to break out and give opponents fits. What made those earlier Bobby Bowden teams so successful wasn't just that Sunshine State speed, but more important that Sunshine State depth and this defensive line is a prime example of this Fisher era improvement. This defensive line will go five deep at a couple of spots. The running backs too will go five deep with players that would normally start on just about every other ACC team. Quarterback E.J. Manuel has been given the keys to a Cadillac Offense. Keeping him healthy will be a major priority, as there doesn't appear to be a sufficient replacement if the redshirt junior goes down. Coach Fisher has stated publicly that he expects Manuel to have an incredible fall outing.

This team truly is capable of competing for a national championship based on the all-star talent lining up. Even the kicker, punter and return men rank as some of the best at their positions. September 17 is the date that is circled on the calendar for Nole fans everywhere. That is the day the nation's No. 1 rated Oklahoma team will come to Doak Campbell Stadium. This showdown has the potential to be a program changer. Despite the fairly even talent levels, FSU is still a likely underdog. After the embarrassing whipping the Sooners laid on this squad last year in Norman, the Noles desperately need to redeem themselves if they wish to be considered among the nation's elite. The following week they will travel to Clemson. This is an extremely crucial two-week stretch for determining just how this team truly measures up to the expectations.

When folks ask why FSU is getting so much love this preseason, just point them in the direction of the depth chart. There are five-star prep performers all through this lineup. And the stars just keep coming in by the bunches. It appears the new post-Bowden era in Tallahassee looks bright. But expectations also have a way of killing a coach and his program. Anything less than a two or three loss season and FSU will have disappointed in a major way. The college world always wants to know when Miami or Florida State will be back. On paper, this Seminole team is the closest they have been in 11 seasons. They just need that offensive line to stay healthy.

Projected 2011 record: 10-2

WR Bert Reed
2010 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: E.J. Manuel, 65-93-4, 861 yds., 4 TD

Rushing: Chris Thompson, 134 att., 845 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Bert Reed, 58 rec., 614 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Dustin Hopkins, 22-28 FG, 53-53 PAT, 119 pts.

Punting: Shawn Powell, 50 punts, 44.3 avg.

Kicking: Dustin Hopkins, 22-28 FG, 53-53 PAT, 119 pts.

Tackles: Nigel Bradham, 98 tot., 54 solo

Sacks: Brandon Jenkins, 13.5 sacks

Interceptions: Xavier Rhodes, 4 for 40 yds.; Mike Harris, 4 for 12 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Greg Reid, 31 ret., 23.9 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Greg Reid, 31 ret., 10.1 avg., 1 TD


2011 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: Christian Ponder-QB, Rodney Hudson-OG, Ryan McMahon-C, Taiwan Easterling-WR (baseball)
DEFENSE: Markus White-DE, Mister Alexander-SLB, Kendall Smith-MLB

E.J. Manuel will be replacing Christian Ponder as the Seminole signal caller, but he has already undertaken this role in each of the last two seasons as Ponder struggled with injuries. Manuel has started six games over the last two years and the team holds a 4-2 record in those contests. Two of those starts came in bowl games against WVU and South Carolina, both wins. Coach Jimbo Fisher truly believes his quarterback is headed for a stellar season. What separates the third-year junior from Virginia Beach in comparison to Ponder is his better decision making. Don't be fooled by the horrible spring game stats where he completed less than half his passes and threw two interceptions with a patchwork offensive line in front of him. Manuel was voted the winner of the Hinesman Award for the best player of the spring where coaches and teammates have raved about his accuracy, poise and leadership. One of the bigger question marks is at the back up spot. Clint Trickett, son of offensive line coach Rich Trickett, is in a deadlocked battle with Texas hurler Will Secord. The frontrunner has yet to be determined. Both are young and neither has attempted a pass in an actual college game. Their high school accolades did not possess the usual Seminole star power. It's absolutely critical that Manuel use his skills as a decision maker to stay healthy.

No unit on the team will be deeper in quality and quantity, which ultimately means plenty of backs splitting the carries. Don't expect a 1,000-yarder out of this group due to the wealth of skill waiting in line for the next opportunity. This has been the case in Tallahassee for a very long time. The last to reach a grand on the ground was Warrick Dunn in 1996. That's because they always share the carriers. Call this group the Fab Five. The top of the heap for now is small but compact, shifty scat back type Chris Thompson who turned in an excellent season as a sophomore in 2010. His quickness and distinctive ability to hide behind blocks helped him to rush for a team leading 845 yards. Jermaine Thomas was the primary starter last fall before a knee injury kept him out of the last four games. The senior will have some catching up to do if he wishes to climb back up this depth chart. Senior Ty Jones has overcome some inconsistency issues to land at the top of the post-spring depth chart. This was mostly due to nagging injuries that kept Thompson out of spring while Thomas was serving a minor suspension. The greatest potential may reside with four-star true freshman Devonta Freeman who is fresh off of helping Miami Central win a state championship. Freeman enrolled early and made a huge impression through out the spring. He already looks like he has been in the FSU weight room for a couple of years. If that were not enough, the gem of the 2011 recruiting class James Wilder Jr. is set to arrive this summer. The fullbacks too are stacked. Lonnie Pryor is a tremendous all-around player. He excels as a runner in open or tight space, as a run blocker and can also pick up the blitz. Very few teams have such a dependable pass protector. His back up Debrale Smiley may be just as talented but thus far hasn't met his potential. This is a very underrated group and there may not be enough handoffs to go around.

Florida State returns every player who caught a pass from 2010. The top pass catcher is Bert Reed. But the fifth-year senior, despite racking up over 1,600 yards in his FSU career (Top 20 all-time for FSU receiving yards) is not considered an elite receiver at this level. Those achievements are more reflective of his status as a three-year starter. He has dropped a good many passes in that span too. Despite the frequent mental lapses he still has the ability to take a pass the distance. The jump ball weapon is 6'6 Rodney Smith. Now that he has a better grip of this playbook, combined with the fact he has added some needed bulk on his frame, Smith could wind up being one of the top targets overall. The tough guy of the group is Willie Haulstead and he has the size to back it up with room for even more. Haulstead is not a home run threat but can be a nice short yardage option if he can learn to focus more while overcoming the drops that have haunted quite a few of these receivers. The unknown aspect will be whether or not senior Taiwan Easterling decides to stick it out for one more year on the gridiron or take his baseball talents to the major leagues. He is currently playing the outfield for the FSU baseball team. Easterling really came on strong last year posting single-season personal highs through 13 starts. Depth has been an issue in the past but with the large crop of young receivers currently on board such as Kenny Shawn, Christian Green and Jared Haggins, who had a standout spring and is sure to see some playing time this fall, the competition has become quite heated. Coach Fisher has a good many options to be used in his vast rotation. If the veterans can overcome their history of mental lapses and drops, this could be a very formidable unit.

Distinguished high school basketball star Beau Reliford, who did not begin playing football until his junior year, has stepped into a much larger role for the Noles. He posted 10 starts to his credit last year and his blocking was instrumental in an improved rushing attack. He missed the bowl game due to academic reasons and his status going forward remains in doubt. Getting the nod with four starts last year, Ja'Baris Little gives FSU a back up plan with little drop off. The Tallahassee Lincoln HS star is mostly used in short-yardage blocking situations however. Nick O'Leary, the Rivals.com No. 1 rated prep tight end will enroll this fall. The grandson of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus could see immediate time on the field.

The injury bug has ravaged this offensive line, which in turn created a nasty problem this spring for an offense loaded with skill position talent. Having to replace one of the best offensive linemen in FSU history in Rodney Hudson and All-ACC performer Ryan McMahon does not help matters. Both were four-years starters, which is extremely rare for offensive linemen. The best news has been the emergence of Jacob Fahrenkrug. The highly touted JUCO transfer was projected to come into town and take over at guard for Hudson. Instead he wound up moving to center and has completely dominated McMahon's former spot. Offensive line coach Rick Trickett says the junior possesses some of the best physical tools of any player he's seen in his 39 years of coaching. "I haven't had one in a long time that can do the boards like him," Trickett said. "He's like a road grader." David Spurlock is still hoping to lock down right guard after missing the last seven games last year while suffering through multiple concussions. His spring return took another setback. The odds don't favor a full-time return, which really emphasizes the concern at guard. FSU had to implement walk-on Jacob Stanley with the first unit this spring. Bryan Stork was forced into immediate action at guard as a frosh last fall and struggled at times. He rebounded to have a solid game against a sturdy South Carolina front at the bowl game however. Starting tackles Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders were both sidelined with injuries this spring. Everyone is expected to be healed and back to 100% by mid-summer with the exception of maybe Spurlock. If so both tackles could be special. Datko has potential to be one of the premier pass protectors in college football. Sanders is another four-year starter and has transformed into a powerful right tackle. Henry Orelus is another young quality lineman. Last year he saw time at tackle and guard. He is the likely answer at guard if Spurlock cannot make a come back. Rick Trickett has screamed he wants his starters back. If the same starting unit that lined up in the spring game is what remains in store for fall Saturdays while the injury bug lingers, this offense is in trouble.


QB E.J. Manuel


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB E.J. Manuel-Jr (6-4, 234) Clint Trickett-RFr (6-2, 175)
Will Secord-So (6-1, 214)
FB Lonnie Pryor-Jr (6-0, 219) Debrale Smiley-Jr (5-11, 240)
TB Chris Thompson-Jr (5-8, 190) Jermaine Thomas-Sr (5-11, 187)
Ty Jones-Sr (5-10, 212)
WR Bert Reed-Sr (5-10, 175) Christian Green-RFr (6-0, 201)
WR Willie Haulstead-Jr (6-3, 206) Jared Haggins-So (6-1, 188)
WR Rodney Smith-Jr (6-6, 216) Kenny Shaw-So (5-11, 165)
TE Beau Reliford-Sr (6-6, 260) Ja'Baris Little-Sr (6-3, 238)
OT Andrew Datko-Sr (6-6, 311) Dan Foose-RFr (6-6, 279)
OG David Spurlock-Sr (6-4, 300) Jacob Stanley-Sr (6-2, 278)
C Jacob Fahrenkrug-Jr (6-4, 307) Sterling Lovelady-Fr (6-2, 277)
OG Bryan Stork-So (6-4, 289) Henry Orelus-So (6-3, 295)
OT Zebrie Sanders-Sr (6-6, 307) Garrett Faircloth-So (6-6, 291)
K Dustin Hopkins-Jr (6-2, 183) ..



The lack of depth on the defensive line has killed the efforts of longtime line coach Odell Haggins. And that's probably an understatement. Rotating fresh tackles without a drop off has not been even a remote option. That's all about to change and is a big reason why this defense is set to continue down the path of righteousness. There is so much depth now that it's going to be hard for top rate talents to find the field where certain spots can actually go five deep. Anthony McCloud was arguably the best interior lineman last season after coming straight out of the JUCO ranks. Regarded as one of the top high school players in the entire nation, Jacobbi McDaniel was a fixture at tackle for his sophomore campaign. Despite playing most of the season with an elbow injury he managed to start all 14 games. McDaniel excels at controlling the gap, enabling linebackers to make plays behind him. Demonte McAllister is one of a handful of recent signees, along with Darious Cummings and Cameron Erving that are expected to see increased time in the rotation. If former starter Moses McCray can return from an ACL injury while three highly regarded true freshman enter fall camp, it's easy to see a problem coach Haggins can finally enjoy. The news gets even better on the outside. NationalChamps.net Preseason First Team All-American Brandon Jenkins is back to harass quarterbacks after racking up 13.5 sacks last fall. On the other side Bjoern Werner was selected as the best defensive player of the spring by the coaches. The born-and-reared German has only been playing football for five years but has become a difficult force to block. Enrolling this spring was Tank Carradine, the No. 1 overall JUCO prospect in the country. There will be a great battle at this spot between Werner and Carradine that will likely extend all the way into November. This defensive line eerily reminds us of the dominating depth FSU employed during the long-lost dynasty days. Watch out.

Rising senior Nigel Bradham in the only linebacker on the roster with starting experience. He's been the leading tackler in each of the past two seasons and will be counted on to provide the leadership. The losses of Kendall Smith and Mister Alexander leave coaches with some large shoes to fill. The replacements however are impressive in their own right. On the strong side is athletic freak Christian Jones, the standout of the best linebacker class in the country from 2010. Christian is the son of Seminole great Willie Jones and was a five-star prep linebacker out of Orlando. As a true freshman he played in all 14 games and was often called upon in crucial third and long situations. Vince Williams has been holding down the middle. Williams isn't blessed with the same athletic skills as his fellow linebackers that run from sideline to sideline. He is a prototypical big man in the middle made for stuffing the fullback in the hole. Jeff Luc was also considered to be the No. 1 rated player at his position coming out of high school. He should return from a torn meniscus to help provide depth in the middle. Despite losing two key components from this group, don't expect any drop off. The recruiting classes have blessed these linebackers.

FSU is blessed with two incredible cornerbacks. Other teams would be hard pressed to locate a better set than Xavier Rhodes and Greg Reid. Granted the pass defense numbers (71st nationally) did not exemplify such a statement, but that was more a result of poor play from the safety position. Had you told defensive coordinator Mark Stoops that his team would finish 71st in the country defending the pass, he would have taken it considering how outrageously poor the same numbers were the two previous years. Rhodes exploded on the scene last year as a true freshman while earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors. Reid on the other hand is the team's best playmaker whether performing as an All-American return man or a cover man. Many times his playmaking mentality can be a risk/reward situation where he either gets burned or makes a game winning play. His third year in the program will hopefully allow him to overcome the short side of that scenario. JUCO transfer Mike Harris was a goldmine find last fall picking off four passes and playing and instrumental role in this defensive turnaround. Big 6'3 Avis Commack is a former receiver transformed corner that will also make some noise in this rotation. FSU's safeties last season let the team down, repeatedly. They were easily the worst position group not only on the defense, but the entire team. Both Nick Moody and Terrance Parks will return but are no lock to keep their spot atop the depth chart. Terrance Parks is still holding down one of the safety spots. In an effort to change fortunes, Lamarcus Joyner has moved from corner to safety. The nation's No. 1 ranked cornerback saw action in all 14 games last year as a true freshman. This is the one spot on defense that will be closely watched. Joyner is more than happy to make this switch and see the field as a full-time starter. If he is as good as advertised, this could be the break Coach Stoops was looking for to take that next step towards becoming a dominating secondary.


DE Brandon Jenkins


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Bjoern Werner-So (6-4, 273) Tank Carradine-Jr (6-5, 251)
NG Jacobbi McDaniel-Jr (6-0, 301) Demonte McAllister-So (6-2, 285)
DT Anthony McCloud-Jr (6-2, 302) Everett Dawkins-Jr (6-2, 281)
DE Brandon Jenkins-Jr (6-3, 258) Dan Hicks-So (6-4, 265)
SLB Christian Jones-So (6-4, 236) Nigel Terrell-RFr (6-1, 218)
MLB Vince Williams-Jr (6-1, 245) Jeff Luc-So (6-0, 246)
WLB Nigel Bradham-Sr (6-2, 240) Telvin Smith-So (6-3, 209)
CB Greg Reid-Jr (5-8, 185) Nick Waisome-Fr (5-10, 165)
CB Xavier Rhodes-So (6-2, 205) Mike Harris-Sr (5-11, 183)
SS Terrance Parks-Sr (6-2, 218) Nick Moody-Jr (6-2, 226)
FS Lamarcs Joyner-So (5-8, 192) Terrence Brooks-So (5-11, 189)
P Shawn Powell-Sr (6-4, 235) ..




Coach Fisher feels there is no better kicking/punting combo in America. That is how pleased the boss man has become with his talented tandem of Dustin Hopkins and Shane Powell. If there had been a vote for Spring Game MVP the vote would have been unanimous with Dustin Hopkins going 5-for-5 on field goals. The highlighter was a 60-yard boot that cleared the goal posts by at least 10 yards. The he hit the game winner. The Texas native is proving why he was the top rated kicker coming out of high school and then some. Last year he was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award given to the nation's best kicker. Before his time is done he may just likely win it. Shane Powell is also capable of winning the Ray Guy Award given to the nation's best punter. His 44.3-yard average was impressive as was his monstrous hang time. He booted 18 punts over 50 yards and averaged 51.0 yards in the Chick-fil-A bowl. Finding a better return man than Greg Reid is tough. His averages in 2010 were lower than they were the year before when he was an All-American after just his first year in college. Reid is a danger to take one into the house for six points every single time he touches the ball whether it be on punts or kickoffs. Reid could be one of the best return men FSU has seen in a very long time. And if coaches prefer not to kickoff towards Reid, they have the former No. 1 rated high school player in the state of Florida Lamarcus Joyner on the other side to choose from.