Florida State Seminoles: Practice notes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Monday's practice was little more than a brisk walk through a few plays. Tuesday and Wednesday had moments of intensity, but there was a line Jimbo Fisher wasn't interested in crossing. The week winds down with a bit of a lighter touch too, which might not be ideal, but it's necessary.

[+] EnlargeJames Wilder Jr.
AP Photo/Phil SearsJames Wilder Jr. and the rest of the Seminoles are looking forward to the bye week after Saturday's game with Duke.
The challenges of enduring nine weeks of football -- 144 if you include fall camp -- without a break is no easy task, and Fisher spent this week trying to find the right mix as Florida State's long-awaited bye looms on the horizon.

"When you get over six weeks without an off week, you have to be very careful how you manage your football team," Fisher said. "You have to judge where their bodies are. It's how much, how hard you practice, the amount of contact you have during the week."

The Week 10 bye is the latest for a Florida State team since 2004, and it's been a hot topic of conversation among players eager for a little down time.

"Everybody's waiting on it," cornerback Nick Waisome said. "I can say that much. That's one of the things you hear guys talking about -- just, 'Man, we don't ever get off.' It's coming soon, and we'll get a little break."

While the long stretch without an off week has resulted in a few bumps, bruises and sore muscles, Florida State has largely avoided significant injuries aside from last week's season-ending ACL tear for running back Chris Thompson as a result of the hefty workload.

But injuries aren't the only concern, Fisher said. The bigger issues are morale and motivation.

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FSU Notes: More work for O'Leary

October, 18, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jimbo Fisher managed to assuage a number of fans outraged over conservative play calling with a ferocious start for Florida State's offense last week against Boston College.

FSU's first nine plays were all passes, and six of them were deep balls. In all, quarterback EJ Manuel finished the game with 10 attempts of 20 yards or more -- by far, the most he'd attempted in any game this season.

Finding those same big plays downfield may not be quite so easy this week though, despite some relatively ugly defensive stats for Miami.

"They cover better than anybody we've played," Fisher said of the Miami secondary, which ranks 10th in the ACC having allowed an average of 253 yards per game through the air. "Watch the film -- how tight they cover, the things they do, they're athletic."

The film dictates a significant portion of Fisher's play calls, he said, but he also won't sacrifice the plays he wants to execute because of the opposition's strengths, so he's not ruling out a few looks downfield.

[+] EnlargeNick O'Leary
Elsa/Getty ImagesFSU tight end Nick O'Leary has 11 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown this season.
"You have to go against personnel and don't play into them, but you have to do what you do and be aggressive," Fisher said. "You try to pick your moments."

Of course, if the deep ball isn't open Saturday, it might be a good chance for Florida State to find tight end Nick O'Leary, who was a big part of the game plan a week ago but ended up being held without a catch.

O'Leary was Manuel's first read on seven or eight plays, Fisher said, but Boston College's coverages dictated he look elsewhere. If that happens again this week, it should mean a few deep routes are open. If not, Manuel wants to make getting the ball to his tight end a priority.

"I want to give Nick the ball and I’m sure we will have a lot of those opportunities this week," Manuel said.

Lined up: While Miami's secondary provides some concerns for Florida State, it's the Hurricanes' offensive line that might be their best asset.

Miami has allowed just eight sacks through seven games this season, the second-best tally in the conference. Meanwhile, Florida State has mustered just two sacks in its last two games, and star defensive end Bjoern Werner has been held without a sack since Week 3 against Wake Forest.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The plans were set not long after Saturday's game ended.

Terrence Brooks
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesA Sunday cookout allowed Terrence Brooks and his teammates to heal after the upset loss to NC State on Saturday.
Florida State's players took the loss hard, but that emotion couldn't last, so Vince Williams found an alternative. A cook-out was planned, invitations were issued, and RSVPs weren't accepted.

"Just be there, no excuses," safety Terrence Brooks said. "It's not a huge thing. But it's small things like that, just getting your team together and doing something other than football."

If there are stages of grief, Florida State had done its best to work through most of them by Monday's practice.

When the game ended, heads were hung, but Bjoern Werner rallied the troops, insisted Saturday's loss couldn't end the Seminoles' season. Sunday's barbecue was the next step, a chance to get away from the chaos and refocus their priorities.

Monday represented acceptance of what had happened and a chance to turn the page.

"This was a tough game to go over," Telvin Smith said. "Everybody was kind of dreading going out there today, but it's part of the moving-on process."

There was still talk of the loss on the practice field Monday, but Brooks said it was only about learning from mistakes. There was still regret over what happened, a sense of shock that had yet to dissipate, but he insists that regret will be transformed into resolve.

"You don't want that feeling," Brooks said. "Everybody's [angry]. But we were ready to get back to practice, get back to the grind and take it out on the next team."

A year ago, Florida State's first loss of the season led to two more in the next two weeks. With a dismal Boston College team coming to Tallahassee on Saturday, a repeat seems unlikely.

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FSU Notes: Tough week for Freeman

September, 25, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It might have been the most spirited practice in nearly a year for Devonta Freeman, and that was good to see, Jimbo Fisher said.

The sophomore tailback didn't get a touch in Saturday's win over Clemson, which came just days after his brother was murdered near Miami. The emotional toll was immense, and Freeman was absent from the team's meetings Monday to attend the funeral. But Fisher said Freeman returned Tuesday with renewed focus.

"He's doing as well as can be expected," Fisher said. "It's a very tough situation....It's a tragedy and sometimes people don't realize what's going on in these kids' lives....They're 17, 18, 19, 20-year old kids. It's devastation."

The off-field issues certainly sidetracked Freeman's game Saturday, but his role had been reduced even before that.

After leading the team in rushing a year ago, Freeman entered the season as part of a three-man rotation at tailback. In the first two games of the season, he had 18 touches on offense, tops among the running backs. In the past two games, however, Freeman has just six carries and one reception.

Meanwhile, Chris Thompson and James Wilder Jr. have taken off. Thompson has back-to-back 100-yard games, while Wilder has become a second-half workhorse.

The shift in playing time isn't meant as a knock on Freeman, Fisher said, but it's also not guaranteed to change any time soon.

"The other guys are playing really good," Fisher said. "(Thompson and Wilder) are really cranking it up. We had a hot hand going and we didn't want to break the rhythm. It has nothing to do with Devonta doing anything wrong. The other guys are just doing some things really good."

Fisher said he hopes the increased workload for Thompson and Wilder will serve as a springboard for Freeman, too.

"I think that's why you saw him really pick it up (in practice) today," Fisher said.

While the competition has tightened up among the running backs however, Wilder said the group has rallied around Freeman off the field.

"He's been going through a lot of off-the-field issues, and we're his brothers, too, so we're making sure we comfort him," Wilder said. "But he's back and he's ready to go. He's feeling better."

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Practice Notes: Flu sidelines Rhodes

September, 11, 2012
Florida State's best cornerback sat out of Tuesday's practice, but Jimbo Fisher said he's not concerned about Xavier Rhodes' availability against Wake Forest.

Rhodes has "a touch of the flu," Fisher said, and while the junior corner practiced Monday, Fisher held him out of Tuesday's workouts and has kept him away from the rest of the team.

"He was throwing up a little bit, and we just want to make sure we get some fluids in him," Fisher said.

Rhodes recorded Florida State's lone interception on the season in Week 1 against Murray State, but he's set to get his biggest test of the year Saturday against Wake Forest and receiver Michael Campanaro, who leads the ACC -- and is fourth nationally -- with 260 receiving yards through two games.

Fisher said Rhodes practiced well Monday, and he doesn't expect his lone veteran corner to miss any more practice time.

"He should be ready to go (Wednesday)," Fisher said.

Jenkins checks in:
Defensive end Brandon Jenkins was on campus Tuesday, his foot wrapped and crutches under his arms.

Jenkins suffered a lisfranc fracture in his left foot against Murray State and will miss the season, but Fisher said he expects the senior to remain a fixture in the Seminoles' locker room.

"He'll come to terms with things, and I think that's what he's doing right now," Fisher said. "But he'll do well, and he'll be back around and be a great leader for us, no doubt."

Small sample size:
The film didn't take long to deconstruct, but Lamarcus Joyner was pleased with his grade from the Savannah State game nevertheless.

"I got a perfect score," Joyner said. "I never got a score like that in my life."

Of course, that perfect score came on just 12 defensive snaps for Joyner, who like the rest of Florida State's starters, was benched after the first quarter as the Seminoles built a 35-0 lead.

Still, Joyner said, he doesn't take anything for granted, and while the game didn't present much of a challenge, Louisiana Monroe's upset of Arkansas last week provided all the incentive he needed to appreciate each win.

"I expected (an easy win), but I'm pretty sure the guys from Arkansas expected the same thing," Joyner said. "It's the easiest game I think I've ever going to play in my life, but it was a good one."

Friendly reminders:
Florida State may be getting plenty of reminders of last year's loss to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., but Demon Deacons head coach Jim Grobe is happy to remind his team of an equally ugly performance the last time it played in Tallahassee.

In 2010, Wake Forest lost to the Seminoles in a 31-0 route. QB Tanner Price, then a freshman, finished just 6-of-12 passing for 35 yards and an interception.

“There’s not a tougher place that I know of to play a football game," Grobe said of Doak Campbell Stadium. "We know we’re going to have to play great.”
Chris Thompson knew he wasn't himself at practice Monday.

The senior tailback is usually frenetic, loud, boisterous on the practice field, but on Monday, fellow senior Lonnie Pryor was quick to point out how quiet Thompson had been.

In truth, this is a somber week for Thompson, but that wasn't why he was so low key Monday.

"It's just focusing," he said.

Thompson will be the starting running back against Wake Forest on Saturday, and that holds a special significance for him. It was against the Deacons last season that he took a handoff on third-and-1, ducked his head into a tackler and broke his back.

In the 11 months since, Thompson has made huge strides, and he's running with more quickness and energy than before, Jimbo Fisher said. But this game still marks another obstacle in Thompson's recovery, and he's had it marked on his calendar for a while.

"All the guys know it's going to be an emotional day for me," Thompson said.

There have been plenty of highs and lows as Thompson has fought his way back onto the field and worked his way back into shape since last year's injury, but in his first two games back in 2012 he's looked no worse for the wear.

On 10 touches, Thompson has racked up 76 yards and, last week, his first touchdown in a full year. A bulk of his yards have come after contact, too, and that's been particularly rewarding.

"I've been running the ball a lot harder than I have in the past," Thompson said. "I think at first it was just a whole thing about trying to prove to everybody that I'm back."

If the first two games provided proof, this week's matchup provides closure.

But while Thompson said he's eager to take on the defense that nearly ended his career a year ago, he's not looking to turn the page once it's over. This game is a milestone for him, but not the end of the journey.

"I don't think it's ever going to be behind me," Thompson said. "Even after this game, I'm going to still think about it at times. But it's nothing that's going to slow me down."

He'll be back: Wake Forest finished off a dramatic win over North Carolina on Saturday without its best defender, but Fisher said he doesn't doubt for a second that Nikita Whitlock will be back on the field for this week's game.

"He'll play. You can bank on that," Fisher said.

Whitlock sprained his ankle in last week's win, and reports out of Wake Forest said he's been in a walking boot since. An MRI isn't on the agenda for Whitlock, however, so Fisher's theory may be correct.

It would be bad news for FSU if Whitlock does play. The defensive tackle had seven tackles and a sack in last year's win over the Seminoles.

"He sets the tone inside," Fisher said. "He's quick, athletic, agile, strong. They give him a lot of freedom. You've got to always know where he's at and what he's doing. The guy is one heck of a football player. He's got a motor that doesn't stop."

Injury updates: Tight end Nick O'Leary (thigh) and center Bryan Stork (neck) were both back at practice Monday and Fisher expects both will play against Wake Forest on Saturday.

"No problems," Fisher said. "We should see most everybody back on the field."

Fisher played it safe with several injured regulars against Savannah State, with Stork, O'Leary and Chad Abram among those sitting out the game.
The week began with the question of which of Florida State's freshman defensive ends would see his redshirt removed, but Jimbo Fisher ended up taking a different route.

Both Mario Edwards Jr. and Chris Casher will play in Saturday's game against Savannah State, and Fisher said the freshmen will be regulars in the defensive end rotation now that senior Brandon Jenkins is lost for the season.

"We're going to start playing them and getting them involved in things," Fisher said.

Edwards, the No. 1 recruit in the country a year ago, and Casher worked with the No. 3 defense during practice Thursday, but Fisher said both players will get regular reps on defense and special teams against Savannah State.

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The last Cornellius Carradine had heard, his teammate was going to be fine.

The X-rays had shown no break, and Brandon Jenkins' foot injury was supposed to be minor. By Monday night, however, Carradine's Facebook page was littered with friends wanting the scoop on Jenkins' status, and the Internet was buzzing with news that the Florida State All-American would miss the entirety of the 2012 season.

It wasn't until Tuesday morning that Carradine was able to talk to his teammate, but by then, he wasn't interested in the injury.

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FSU notes: Carradine gets chance to shine 

September, 3, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- He's huge, nearly 270 pounds. His numbers are impressive, including 5.5 sacks and 38 tackles off the bench last season. But with two potential All-Americans ahead of him on the depth chart, Cornellius Carradine still manages to fade into the background.

That might change this season, however.

"Me and Brandon [Jenkins] are nominated for a lot of individual awards, but Tank, you guys don't know him yet," junior Bjoern Werner said. "You'll be surprised. He'll be sitting here at the end of the season and you won't want to talk to us anymore."
Call it a premonition from a player all too familiar with what it feels like to get hurt.

Chris Thompson had darted downfield during a practice last Wednesday, and something just felt wrong. It wasn't a cramp or a pop -- but something with his hamstring felt off.

[+] EnlargeChris Thompson
AP Photo/Chris O'MearaRunning back Chris Thompson insists he's back to 100 percent after missing practice.
"Just the way I run, I can tell," Thompson said. "It's just something I really can't explain, but I can tell."

That's all head coach Jimbo Fisher needed to hear to pull back the reins on his starting running back as the season opener approached.

Thompson was held out of last week's scrimmage, and he was limited for the next couple of practices as he rested the hamstring. But after a week, Thompson insists he's back to 100 percent, and a potentially sticky situation was avoided.

"It wasn't anything serious because I stopped it before it was serious," Thompson said. "Now being back at practice, I'm starting to feel good again."

Thompson, who missed most of last season with a broken back, will be the starter against Murray State on Saturday, but Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. are expected to see work, too.

"I feel very good about all three guys," Fisher said. "Chris is our starter, and he'll get plenty of reps and plenty of carries, but we've got to get Devonta and Wilder in, too."

McCloud out for opener: The torn pectoral muscle that has sidelined senior Anthony McCloud for the past three weeks will keep him out of Florida State's opener against Murray State, Fisher announced Tuesday.

McCloud, a two-year starter at defensive tackle, tore the pec during the first week of fall camp and has not been a full participant in workouts since.

Fisher said his training staff has preached caution, and although they were hopeful McCloud could return in time for the first game, the injury has been a little slower to heal than originally thought.

"It was going to be very close," Fisher said of whether McCloud figured to be ready for the opener. "But even if we were playing for the national championship, (the trainers) said they wouldn't feel comfortable with him going this week."

Timmy Jernigan is expected to get the start at defensive tackle in McCloud's place.

Hicks has surgery: Tight end Dan Hicks is done for the year after undergoing micro-fracture surgery on his knee.

Hicks suffered what was believed to be a relatively minor injury when a player rolled onto his leg during a practice two weeks ago, but when the knee was scoped, doctors found significantly more damage.

"They went in there to do the cartilage and there was an old injury that was pretty bad, it had been bothering him, and they saw it," Fisher said. "They had to do it right then."

Hicks has spent his first three seasons at Florida State as a defensive end, but he moved to tight end this spring to serve as Nick O'Leary's primary backup.

With Hicks out, Florida State will turn to Penn State transfer Kevin Haplea and true freshman Christo Kourtzidis, and Fisher said he's been pleased with both players.

"I think Haplea and Christo are doing a really nice job," Fisher said. "They've learned well, they block well, they're doing a lot of little things."
Chris Thompson is the starting tailback for Florida State. That much, Jimbo Fisher made clear. Devonta Freeman will get his share of touches, too, after the sophomore proved to be a valuable asset down the stretch last season.

But it's the No. 3 runner on the depth chart that has impressed Fisher the most lately, and he thinks James Wilder Jr. might be on the verge of a breakthrough.

James Wilder Jr.
AP Photo/Don Juan MooreRunning back James Wilder Jr. is showing his versatility in practice.
"I really see him coming on," Fisher said. "He's feeling really comfortable, and that body's getting big. He's starting to take off, and that gives you another dimension."

That other dimension is power, and Wilder has plenty of it.

At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Wilder is a load to bring down, playing the position the way a linebacker rather than a running back. That's a big weapon, and in short-yardage situations he expects to be the centerpiece in the FSU offense.

"With the goal line, that's my bread and butter; that's my time," Wilder said. "That's when the whole team is depending on me. When it's fourth-and-2, if somebody misses a block, they're still depending on me getting those two yards. I need to make sure I capitalize."

But what might set Wilder apart, what could be the difference between a small step forward from his 35-carry freshman campaign and a far bigger role this season, is Wilder's versatility.

His frame suggests he's a good between-the-tackles runner. But he's expecting to sneak up on a few people, too.

"We try to not set it up like, 'Oh, Wilder's in so he's going to run it up the middle,' " Wilder said. "Coming out of the backfield, they can throw me in there. The defense will think I'm a power back, but I'll go out on a wheel route. … We want to set it up where we're comfortable in different situations."

Wilder had just two receptions last season -- both coming against Notre Dame in Florida State's bowl game -- but Fisher said he's seen enough in practice to be comfortable using Wilder coming out of the backfield, too.

"He catches the ball so dadgum well, and he runs really good routes," Fisher said. "You don't think about it, but I've been very pleased."

McCloud iffy for opener: Defensive tackle Anthony McCloud was in full pads and running through early drills at practice Monday, but Fisher said he hasn't decided whether the senior will play against Murray State on Saturday.

McCloud missed nearly three weeks of practice with a small tear in his pectoral muscle, and while the recovery process has gone smoothly, Fisher wants to be careful not to push McCloud to return too soon.

"Anthony may be this week or he may be next week," Fisher said. "That can be one that if you try to come back too early, you can really set it back. But if you wait to make sure it's healed, then you should be fine. We're making judgments on that daily."

While the time away from practice has allowed the injury to heal, it hasn't kept McCloud from getting his work in.

Fisher said the veteran tackle, who checked in at nearly 325 pounds last season, has been doing conditioning workouts three times a day since the injury, dropping 12 pounds in the process.

"He's kept himself in tremendous shape," Fisher said. "That's one thing you worry about when big guys get injured is staying in shape. I think he went from about 324 to about 311 or something like that."

If McCloud is not available Saturday, Timmy Jernigan is expected to start in his place, with Nile Lawrence-Stample likely serving as the top backup.

Staying in the pocket: EJ Manuel has racked up more than 500 rushing yards in his career at Florida State, but judging by the early practices, the senior quarterback might be doing less damage with his legs in 2012.

Manuel said Florida State has only run a handful of option plays and QB runs in practice, and given the wealth of receiving targets he has at his disposal this season, he's expecting to spend far more time in the pocket and far less time as a runner.

"I think Coach Fisher wants a lot of those other guys to make plays," Manuel said. "I don't think he's going to need me to do it as much because we have so many horses now. Granted, if the situation comes, I'm sure he'll trust me to make a first down. I know we haven't been practicing it a whole lot, though."

Hunter maturing: The man at the center of Florida State's Twitter ban has made some big strides on and off the field, Fisher said.

Two months after sophomore Tyler Hunter tweeted rap lyrics promoting violence against police officers -- tweets that got the entire team banned from using the social network -- Fisher said there's been a noticeable change in Hunter's attitude.

"He's had a very good camp," Fisher said. "He's been very, very disciplined. Never any issues anymore. I think he realizes he made a critical mistake that's not indicative of who he is as a person. But he knows he was wrong -- and majorly wrong. He's really done a nice job of trying to change his image and what he's trying to be about."

Hunter has dealt with an in-house punishment, and he's participated in ride-alongs with local police. Fisher said that assuming Hunter completes his punishments this week, the sophomore will be on the field Saturday, likely as Florida State's No. 1 nickel back.

"He'll be playing," Fisher said. "He'll be ready to roll."
At this point, EJ Manuel is taking a mental note of virtually everything.

After five years on campus, Manuel knows this is his last go-round with the Seminoles, so even the mundane becomes a bit more sentimental.

"Everything signifies something to me," Manuel said. "It's like, all right, it's my last third practice of the second week. It's cool. It's definitely a different feel knowing it's my last year, no matter what."

Thursday's scrimmage probably won't be a moment Manuel looks back upon with fondness years from now, but it was the last one of his career at Florida State. After missing last week's scrimmage with a sprained ankle, it was particularly rewarding to get back on the field again.

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Only nine days remain before Florida State opens up the regular season against Murray State, and Jimbo Fisher said he's still in evaluation mode when it comes to a handful of spots on the depth chart.

"There's two or three positions -- maybe more -- that we're still evaluating," he said.

Start with right tackle, where Daniel Glauser and Menelik Watson -- both junior college transfers in their first season at FSU -- have split reps with the first-team offense throughout fall practice.

Glauser appeared to have the edge early, then Watson stepped in with the No. 1 unit for much of last week. A minor shoulder stinger kept Watson off the field Sunday and Monday, however, and Glauser used the time to stake another claim to the starting job.

It's an open competition still, Fisher said, but he's closing in on what he expects will be his starting five.

"I think we're pretty close to it," Fisher said. "I think we're pretty close to having eight or 10 guys we can put into the ballgame without worrying about -- maybe more."

Beyond right tackle, the starting cornerback job also remains up for grabs, and there's a chance sophomore Nick Waisome and freshman Ronald Darby could continue battling for reps even after the season begins.

Wide receiver Rodney Smith said both players have looked solid during fall practice, and he believes both will be on the field against Murray State.

"Both of them -- the job's open," Smith said. "Darby's something new and different, and everybody wants to see the new guy on the field. But Nick's a good player, too, and you'll see him out there, too."

Greene sits out

Wide receiver Rashad Greene missed most of Wednesday's practice with a stomach flu but should return within a day or two.

Greene was a full participant in Tuesday night's practice, but the earlier start time and lingering illness proved too much Wednesday.

"He was throwing up and all that good stuff," Fisher said. "The flu bug's got him, and he was just getting drained in the heat."

Joyner returns

With two freshman track stars added to an already healthy mix of options at kick returner this fall, there was some buzz that Fisher might dial back the workload for Lamarcus Joyner on special teams, particularly given his significant role at safety.

As it turns out, Fisher is sticking with what works -- at least for now.

"Kick returner will be the same," Fisher said. "We've still got Karlos (Williams) and Lamarcus right there. But we've definitely got a few options."

Florida State was tops in the ACC in kickoff returns last season, averaging nearly 25 yards per return with Joyner and Williams sharing duty. Joyner led the way with 397 kickoff return yards last season, averaging better than 30 yards per return.

Onside drills

Florida State's special teams worked on kicking and covering onside kicks Wednesday, giving senior Dustin Hopkins a chance to work on his technique after college football tweaked its rules on executing the play.

The new rule requires onside kicks to hit the ground twice before it can be recovered by the kicking team -- a rule designed to minimize the risk of injury.

Fisher said he likes the rule, but admits it will make it far tougher to execute the play in key situations.

"I don't think there's any doubt (it's tougher)," Fisher said.

Still, Hopkins drilled his first attempt Wednesday about 12 yards on two hopes, and Kelvin Benjamin raced down the sideline to grab it.

"(Hopkins) is doing a real nice job of it," Fisher said. "I think we have some guys that can get it and when they kick it to us, we got some guys with some really good hands and good size."
Senior Chris Thompson has looked sharp during Florida State's fall practice, and, 11 months after breaking two bones in his back, he continues to get the majority of the first-team reps.

While Thompson appears set to hold the nominal role of starter at tailback, sophomore James Wilder Jr. believes it'll be running-back-by-committee throughout the season for FSU.

"I think [the coaches] are going to keep us on the field, everybody," Wilder said. "We're going to be a team that rotates."

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Center Bryan Stork and right tackle Menelik Watson both missed Monday's practice, but Jimbo Fisher both players should return by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Stork, who opened camp at right tackle but has been at center since the second day of practice, has a minor neck injury, Fisher said, while Watson, the junior college transfer is dealing with a stinger near his shoulder.

"They should both be able to go (Tuesday)," Fisher said. "It's typical two-a-day stuff."

The circumstances aren't dire, but the injuries to two potential starters on the offensive line were still eerily reminiscent of the drama at the position that helped sink Florida State's 2011 season.

Fisher was forced to use 10 different linemen a year ago, including four freshmen in FSU's bowl game against Notre Dame, but all the attrition in 2011 has proven to be a blessing in 2012.

"Our depth is so much better," Fisher said.

So as Austin Barron took reps with the first-team offense at center and Daniel Glauser got work at right tackle, the unit looked no worse for the changes.

That's a good sign, Fisher said, and competition for the starting roles at both positions remains open -- at least nominally.

Stork's veteran experience -- which includes 14 starts, more than the rest of the projected starters combined -- and bulky frame have him the favorite to win the job at center.

At right tackle, there's likely a little more wiggle room, as Glauser has come on strong the past few days with Watson injured.

"(Watson) has been doing some good things and Glauser's been doing some good things," Fisher said. "Those two, I feel very comfortable to have them there right now."

Redshirt for McDaniel

Senior defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel will likely redshirt the 2012 season, Fisher said after Monday's practice.

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