Thursday, March 21, 2013
FSU notes: Split priorities for Bracy
By David M. Hale
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jimbo Fisher has been quick to assure that potential starting quarterback/left fielder Jameis Winston won't have any trouble balancing life as a two-sport star this spring. Baseball will take a clear backseat.
Marvin Bracy's blazing speed is intriguing, but he'll need to be a complete receiver to earn playing time.
For wide receiver Marvin Bracy, however, the dynamic isn't quite so cut and dry.
Bracy will only be a sporadic participant at Florida State's spring practices as he concentrates on track events throughout this spring. Bracy is considered one of the top sprinters in the country -- and perhaps the fastest football player in the nation.
The speed might make Bracy a standout on the track, but Fisher said it's going to take more than that to get him on the field for the Seminoles in the fall.
"You have to have some time to be out there or you're going to be relegated to certain things," Fisher said. "You can run a post, a deep ball, return kicks -- but when you're actually learning to run routes and how they adjust to coverages, that does affect you."
Bracy hasn't been completely absent. He has participated in football meetings and continued to meet with coaches and watch film. He'll be at numerous practices this spring, too. But the part-time work isn't likely to help him climb the depth chart at a crowded position, and Fisher said there's a risk in putting a player on the field this fall when the opposition knows he's only prepared to run a small fraction of the plays.
Of course, that doesn't mean Bracy can't make up ground. Fisher said he has dealt with a slew of track-star football players in his career, including NFL receivers Devery Henderson and Trindon Holliday at LSU, and he believes Bracy can follow a similar path.
"He's going to have to have a great summer, but he'll have a role," Fisher said. "We'll find some things for him to do, I promise."
Full house at QB: If the four-man competition at quarterback is keeping fans busy on the message boards and water-cooler chats, it's doing the same for the coaches and players on Florida State's offense helping to make a final decision on who wins the job.
"We're trying to get all of them as many reps as we can," new FSU quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders said. "Because we have four guys, a lot of those receivers are tired when the days over."
It's not just the receivers being tested, however. Fisher said Sanders has been a blessing during the early days of practice for FSU. Trying to keep tabs on four quarterbacks isn't a one-man job, and having an extra set of eyes during the evaluation process has been crucial.
The job figures to get a bit easier eventually, however. Sanders said that, while there's no timetable for naming a starter, the first step will be whittling down one or two of the contenders.
"They'll sort themselves out, and it's not that one guy emerges as the guy," Sanders said. "A lot of times, you determine a starter by elimination."
Hand-on approach: While Fisher's heavy hand on the offensive playbook might have played a role in pushing former offensive coordinator James Coley to Miami, where he could call his own plays, Sanders said he's happy with a limited role at FSU.
"It's Coach Fisher's offense, but he's told me a number of times he wants input," Sanders said. "It's my job to provide input and not get my feelings hurt if we don't do it."