Monday, June 24, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 30 Levonte Whitfield
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.
What he's done: Whitfield just arrived at Florida State last week, but he's already among the fastest players in the nation. A track star in high school, Whitfield was a state champion in both the 100 and 200, and he's shown he's capable of translating that speed onto the football field, too. As a senior in high school, he caught 38 passes for 520 yards while excelling in the return game.
Where he's at: Wide receiver is still relatively deep for Florida State in 2013, but the recent arrest of senior Greg Dent and the departure of redshirt freshman Marvin Bracy for a pro track career have created some opportunities, and Whitfield could be in the best position to capitalize. Jimbo Fisher suggested this spring that Whitfield could be a weapon in the slot from Day 1, but that remains to be seen. What's more likely is that Whitfield will get an early crack at return duties, where Fisher said he's a natural fit.
What's to come: FSU struggled with consistency in the punt-return game in 2012, shuffling three different players into the role throughout the season. Whitfield could easily win the job in fall camp and ensure an electric presence in 2013. And even if that's all he does this season, it may be the biggest impact of any of FSU's true freshmen. But there's still a good chance he'll find his way into the offensive game plan -- both as a potential mismatch in the slot and with the ball in his hands on reverses, end-arounds and other trick plays. Of course, much of the same was predicted for Bracy a year ago, and he never played a down, so it's incumbent upon Whitfield to prove he's up to the job immediately, then continue to develop throughout the season. If he does, he has the potential to follow more closely the path of Fisher's former track stars like Trindon Holliday and Devery Henderson, who ended up in the NFL.