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What to watch for in Week 2 practice

8/13/2012

One week of Florida State practice is in the books, and the Seminoles are now just three weeks away from the season opener.

As Jimbo Fisher's crew moves ahead with workouts, here are some stories to monitor during Week 2 of fall practice.

1. How long can Nick Waisome hold onto the starting corner job?

Waisome has taken almost all the reps with the first-team defense thus far, but the reviews have been tepid at best.

Waisome is the most experienced of a group that's awfully green, but his limited workload isn't going to guarantee him anything. Meanwhile, freshman Ronald Darby continues to impress, drawing raves from coaches and teammates alike.

Waisome deserves the benefit of the doubt while getting acclimated after the surprising dismissal of Greg Reid, but it'll be interesting to see if Darby and Keelin Smith, who is recovering from a knee injury, start pushing him for first-team reps this week.

2. Who wants the right tackle job?

Bobby Hart was the heir apparent at the end of the season. Then it was Bryan Stork, who took over during the spring. Now it's Daniel Glauser getting the bulk of the first-team reps at right tackle, leading defensive end Bjoern Werner to admit he's having trouble keeping straight who he's going up against in practice.

Glauser, a junior college transfer, is getting a long look, but Fisher admits he's not ready for the job full time yet. The hope should be that all the competition forces Hart to step up and reclaim the job -- not just for now, but for the next three seasons.

If Hart is going to make a move, it would help the overall chemistry of the line if he'd do it sooner rather than later.

3. Is Xavier Rhodes completely healthy?

The Seminoles' lone veteran among the cornerbacks has been bothered by a lingering knee injury during the first week of practice, and while Rhodes has downplayed the injury, Fisher admitted it's worse than the team had initially expected.

Rhodes insists the problem isn't soreness so much as a lack of strength in the joint, which has led him to tire more quickly. The coaching staff didn't push too hard during Week 1 of practice, but if Rhodes is to make good on his promise to be at 100 percent for the opener against Murray State, he'll need to start ramping things up this week.

4. How much does contact change things?

Plenty of early raves for freshmen such as Eddie Goldman and Mario Edwards Jr., and the returns of injured running backs Devonta Freeman and Chris Thompson have gone as well as could be expected thus far.

But as the hits mount and the practices get more physical, the wear and tear adds up. Everyone feels good the first week, but once another week of hard hits have been dished out, a few more of the youngsters and recovering veterans mind find a bit less of a spring in their step.

5. How much will the first scrimmage tell us about this year's team?

FSU will scrimmage for the first time this fall on Thursday, and while it's not likely to solidify anyone's position on the depth chart, it will be our best indication yet of who is ready to produce under game conditions.

Kelvin Benjamin, Christian Jones, Nick Moody, Terrence Brooks, Cameron Erving and a host of others will be in new roles with plenty of attention paid to how they handle themselves. If they turn in strong performances, it goes a long way toward answering some of the Seminoles' biggest questions. If not, things could be shaken up a bit by week's end.