Greene tops punt return depth chart
August, 21, 2012
By David M. Hale | ESPN.com
RIKU/ESPNHSFSU coach Jimbo Fisher says speedy freshman Marvin Bracy has the potential, once he gains game experience, to contend for special teams play.
Jimbo Fisher thinks he has found his replacement for the departed Greg Reid -- at least on special teams.
While there's still a battle for the starting field corner job, Fisher said sophomore Rashad Greene likely will take over Reid's role as Florida State's top punt returner.
"Rashad would probably be at the head of the pack right now," Fisher said.
Reid was perhaps the top punt returner in the country, having racked up 1,117 yards in his three years at FSU -- just 313 shy of Deion Sanders' school record. When he was dismissed on Aug. 1, the Seminoles were left with a handful of talented options, but few with Reid's expertise.
Greene is the only candidate for the job with any experience as a punt returner, with three returns last season. The entirety of his experience, however, adds up to one net return yard.
That leaves the door slightly open for a few other contenders to seize at least a share of the job as the season progresses, particularly given Greene's crucial role on offense.
Wide receiver Kenny Shaw is an option, and Fisher said the junior has proved capable of consistently fielding punts.
The more intriguing options, however, are freshmen track stars Marvin Bracy and Ronald Darby.
Bracy has been limited during the first two weeks of camp with a nagging hamstring injury, but he has upped his workload in each of the last four or five practice sessions, and he's potentially the fastest player in the ACC when healthy.
"He's knowing what to do and you can see that speed when he gets going," said Fisher, who estimated Bracy was running at about seventh-eighths speed.
Like Bracy, Darby excelled on the track in high school. Unlike Bracy, Darby has been fully healthy during fall practice.
The freshman might actually end up in Reid's old role at cornerback, too, having earned heaps of praise from coaches and teammates throughout the first two weeks of practice, but Fisher said he has adapted nicely on special teams, too.
Still, it's a learning process in the return game, kick returner Karlos Williams said, and it could take some time before Bracy and Darby are ready for a full-time role.
"They're explosive," Williams said. "Those guys are fast. But it's all about when you hit it. They're still trying to learn, 'When do I hit, when do I kick it off the block or hit it up the gap?' It's all a game experience thing. It's going to take them a couple reps in the game, some game experience to feel the speed of the game, and then they'll figure it out."