Will Florida State Finally Turn The Corner?

Posted Apr 8, 2012

From the Scout publishers, here's the inside info on the key questions this spring.

Spring 2012 - Key Questions

Florida State

What's happening this spring season? Several FSN publishers provide their insider info on the key questions that matter to the real world of college football. Scroll down for the links to all the spring questions.

Q: There have been injuries, but will there be a running game?

From John Crist, http://floridastate.scout.com … Football is a game of injuries, although Florida State was hit particularly hard on the offensive side of the ball this past season resulting in poor blocking and an ineffective running game.

The Seminoles' leading rusher in 2011, Devonta Freeman, wasn't able to participate in spring practice due to a back problem, and while there are other talented tailbacks on the roster, the position is a bit of a question mark right now. Don't be surprised if true freshman Mario Pender emerges as the go-to guy, as he has the kind of home-run ability this ground game lacked a year ago.

Q: How close is QB E.J. Manuel to going from good to special?

First of all, he needs a better performance from his offensive line, which simply didn't give him enough time in 2011 and deserves some of the blame for him getting beaten up game after game. No question about it, Manuel has Cam Newton-like physical gifts at 6-5 and 238 pounds, but he needs to get the ball out of his hand quicker and be more accurate than he's been in the past. The skill-position talent is there, as FSU has as many as eight wide receivers that deserve considerable playing time.

Will there be any sort of concerns if this isn't the year Jimbo Fisher turns the corner and brings FSU a title?

Back-to-back victories in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl over South Carolina and Notre Dame, respectively, are nice and all, but this is the year Fisher needs to get the 'Noles back into the national-title hunt. He has a favorable schedule, a fifth-year senior quarterback and a dominant defense that only loses one star player from 2011: linebacker Nigel Bradham. While losing on the road to Wake Forest and at home to Virginia last season was maddening, losses like that this season would be flat-out inexcusable.

What's the biggest insider storyline from this spring that the average fan should know about?

There were a handful of position switches introduced during spring practice, most notably sophomore Cameron Erving flip-flopping from defensive tackle to offensive tackle. A tremendous athlete at 6-5 and 304 pounds, Fisher believes the Moultrie (GA) Colquitt County High School alumnus is a future millionaire at the next level. If Erving can lock down the all-important left tackle spot, the offense might actually be able to catch up to the defense for the Garnet and Gold in 2012.

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