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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 33 Cason Beatty

By David M. Hale

Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.

Next up: No. 33 Cason Beatty

Position/Class: P/So.

What he's done: Beatty had big shoes to fill when he took over for All-American Shawn Powell last season as a true freshman, so it's probably not surprising that he struggled noticeably at times. For the season, Beatty's punting average of 38.3 was the worst in the ACC, and his blocked kick against NC State was integral in one of the worst FSU losses in recent years. By season's end though, there were signs of progress. Beatty averaged nearly three more yards per kick in his final three games (40.5) than in his first 11 (37.6).

Where he's at: It could be chalked up to some springtime optimism, but Beatty and freshman kicker Roberto Aguayo earned almost daily praise from coach Jimbo Fisher. Obviously punting in the friendly confines of spring practice is much easier than getting off a kick during the fourth quarter of a close game on the road, but Beatty insists he learned a lot from his first season at FSU. He said he's built up leg strength, the speed of the game has slowed down, and he's made a few technical changes to his routine that should make those blocked punts a thing of the past. Regardless, he's the established starter and will be given every opportunity to improve on last year's inauspicious debut.

What's to come: Entering last season, Beatty's talent level was compared favorably to Powell's, but the former FSU punter never had a season like Beatty did in 2012. Powell's worst year included a 41.1 average -- a number Beatty only topped in five of his 14 games last year. So perhaps Powell set an impossible standard. Instead, the goal for Beatty should simply be to show some improvement and become more consistent. After all, if he simply maintains his average from the final three games of last season over an entire season, FSU would've finished fourth in the conference in punting rather than dead last. That should be a good starting point for Beatty in 2013, and there's little reason to think he can't improve from there.