Florida State Seminoles: Fredrick Jones

FSU room to improve: Defensive line

February, 13, 2014
The celebration of a BCS championship victory is in the rearview mirror for Florida State, and Jimbo Fisher, Jameis Winston and Co. have already turned their attention toward adding another trophy in 2014. So as Florida State preps for spring practice, we’re digging into the biggest questions, position battles and storylines facing the defending national champs.

This week, we’ll look at the five position groups with the biggest question marks looming in advance of spring practice.

Previously, we reviewed the running backs, linebackers and wide receivers.

Next up: Defensive line

Projected starters: Mario Edwards Jr. (Jr.), Eddie Goldman (Jr.), Nile Lawrence-Stample (RSJr.)

[+] EnlargeMario Edwards
Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY SportsFSU's Mario Edwards Jr. has been a solid player, but he needs to take the next step and become a star.
Edwards and Goldman arrived in the Class of 2012 as two of the top-10 recruits in the nation, and they’ve both managed to make their marks already at Florida State. But while both have been solid performers thus far, 2014 marks a turning point when Goldman and Edwards need to take the next step forward and blossom into stars. The loss of Timmy Jernigan on the line is a major blow, and while Lawrence-Stample showed promise in 2013 and figures to be the next man up, a big chunk of Jernigan’s lost production will need to be filled by Edwards and Goldman this season.

Strength in numbers: Desmond Hollin (Sr.), Derrick Mitchell (RSJr.), Chris Casher (RSSo.), DeMarcus Walker (So.), Justin Shanks (RSSo.), Keith Bryant (RSFr.)

Florida State sent five defensive linemen to the NFL in 2013 and projects to add a couple more in this year’s draft, and while that’s an impressive array of talent coming from one place, it’s also sapped some of the depth at the position. But if there’s not a ton of veteran experience here, there’s still ample talent. Casher showed signs of a bright future in a limited role in 2013, finishing with 25 tackles (5 for a loss) and two sacks. Walker started two games as a true freshman. Bryant is well regarded by the coaching staff and could push for regular playing time in the middle of the line, too.

New on the scene: Demarcus Christmas (Fr.), Adam Torres (Fr.), Lorenzo Featherston (Fr.), Fredrick Jones (Fr.), Rick Leonard (Fr.), Derrick Nnadi (Fr.), Arthur Williams (Fr.)

The 2014 signing class was a boon for Florida State on both sides of the line of scrimmage. On the D line, FSU added seven new players, and there’s a legitimate possibility at least three or four could contribute immediately. That group is led by Christmas, who Fisher raved about, saying, “if he would’ve gone to more camps, he would be been the No. 1 or 2 player in the whole country.” Featherston and Nnadi figure to be in the mix when fall camp opens, too.

What to watch: While finding a replacement for Jernigan in the middle remains a top priority, FSU also will be looking to fill the hybrid role Christian Jones played throughout 2013, with Casher perhaps the top lineman in the mix. Edwards struggled with his weight throughout his first two years at Florida State, and now that he’s being looked at as a veteran leader on the D, it will be interesting to see how prepared he is this spring. Goldman and Lawrence-Stample both need to take a big step forward this spring, too, but FSU may benefit the most from the continued development of reserves like Walker, Shanks and Bryant. If they don’t earn the coaches’ attention now, there’s a massive group of freshmen on the way this summer who could steal plenty of playing time.

Summer recruit wrap: Florida State 

July, 23, 2013

NoleNation looks at 10 themes of Florida State's 2014 recruiting class to date:

Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda) and Florida State running backs coach Jay Graham have developed a great relationship.

And late on Monday, it paid off.

“I just want everyone to know that I verbally committed to Florida State," Wideman tweeted.

Wideman was being heavily pursued by Clemson, South Carolina and Florida before making his decision to commit to Florida State and most thought the Gamecocks were the team to beat.

At 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, Wideman is ranked the No. 169 prospect in the nation and a four-star talent.

According to ESPN scouts, Wideman is a likeable kid as he plays hard and aggressive. Needs to keep developing and improving aspects of his game as he moves up to the next level, but if he can make some needed adjustments to technique, he can be a productive and disruptive D-Lineman.

With the addition of Wideman, the Seminoles now have three defensive tackles committed in the Class of 2014 along with Demarcus Christmas (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee) and Fredrick Jones (Miami/Central) with a total of 22 commitments.
Florida State dipped into its rich legacy to recruit a defensive lineman.

Fredrick Jones (Miami/Miami Central), a 6-foot-2, 270-pound defensive tackle, committed over the weekend. He is the nephew of one of the best linebackers in school history, Marvin Jones. Fredrick's father, Fred Jones, played at FSU as well.

Needless to say, it was an easy choice for him once he was offered. That, of course, came at the Jimbo Fisher Camp last week, where he spent a lot of time working with defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins.

Haggins apparently liked what he saw and decided to pull the trigger. The feeling was mutual.

"Hard work pays off," he said. "I committed to Florida State University."

The addition of Jones makes it 21 commitments for the Class of 2014. He is the second defensive tackle in the class alongside Demarcus Christmas (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee).

Though Blake McClain (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) is listed as such, he will be brought in as a defensive end.

Florida State is expected to have a very full class and will likely sign more than 25 prospects in this cycle.


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