Florida State Seminoles: Ruben Carter

FSU depth chart breakdown: Offense

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
10:00
AM ET
A lot has changed for Florida State in the few weeks since Jimbo Fisher hoisted that crystal trophy above his head in Pasadena, Calif. Stars have departed, several incoming freshmen have arrived and the Seminoles are already at work with an eye toward repeating in 2014.

With that in mind, we’re taking a quick run through the depth chart to see where Florida State stands in advance of spring practice. Up first, the offense.

Quarterback

Projected starter: Jameis Winston (RS-So.)
Backups: Sean Maguire (RS-So.) and John Franklin III (RS-Fr.)

[+] EnlargeWinston Sacked
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesKeeping Jameis Winston upright will be a key for Florida State, especially with Jacob Coker transferring.
Storylines: Winston plans to play baseball again this spring, which means at least some concerns about injury. Jacob Coker is transferring, leaving Maguire as Winston’s top backup. He had only limited playing time in 2013 and will need to continue to improve this spring. Franklin has great athleticism, but questions linger about whether he’ll stick at QB for the long haul.

Status: A
Returning the Heisman winner makes life easy for FSU’s offense, but Winston’s health will be watched closely.

Offensive line

Projected starters: Cameron Erving (RS-Sr.), Tre Jackson (Sr.), Austin Barron (Sr.), Josue Matias (Sr.), Bobby Hart (Sr.)
Backups: Sterling Lovelady (Sr.), Ira Denson (RS-Fr.), Ruben Carter (RS-Jr.), Wilson Bell (RS-Fr.), Ryan Hoefeld (RS-Fr.), Kareem Are (Fr.), Stephen Gabbard (Fr.)

Storylines: Barron steps in for Stork in the only noteworthy departure from the line. Barron has starting experience, and if he wins the job, FSU will have five senior starters -- meaning lofty expectations for the unit. Erving and Bell played well on the edges last year, but both could make further strides. The improvement for youngsters such as Bell, Hoefeld and Are will be crucial for both depth in 2014 and managing a massive overhaul in 2015.

Status: A
The starting lineup might be the best in the country, but developing depth for the future will be crucial this spring.

Running backs/Fullbacks

Projected starters: Karlos Williams (Sr.) and Freddie Stevenson (So.)
Backups: Mario Pender (RS-So.), Ryan Green (So.), Dalvin Cook (Fr.), Cameron Ponder (Sr.)

Storylines: Williams was a revelation in his first season as a tailback, but for all his success, 70 of his 91 carries came in late-game, blowout situations. Pender returns after sitting out two years because of injuries and academics, but he provides ample speed and a knowledge of the system. Green showed flashes of potential as a freshman but must improve his blocking and decision-making this spring. Cook could be the wild card. He’s an immense talent, and by enrolling early, he’ll have a leg up on getting touches in the fall.

Status: B
With a ton of talent, this group could easily turn this grade to an A by the end of the spring.

Wide receivers

Projected starters: Rashad Greene (Sr.), Christian Green (RS-Sr.), Kermit Whitfield (So.)
Backups: Isaiah Jones (So.), Jarred Haggins (RS-Sr.), Jesus Wilson (So.)

Storylines: FSU must replace Kenny Shaw and Kelvin Benjamin, who accounted for nearly 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns between them. The current group, aside from Greene, has combined for just 34 catches, 441 yards and no touchdowns in the past two seasons. After a solid 2011 season, Green has virtually disappeared and must show he’s still capable of making an impact. Haggins returns from a knee injury and figures to be limited in spring practice, but he could provide a solid veteran influence. Whitfield is a budding star thanks to his blazing speed, but FSU will need to see marked improvement from both Jones and Wilson in order to make up for the depth this unit lost.

Status: C+
Without any established depth behind Greene, this is the one area of the offense where Florida State has a lot of work to do this spring.

Tight end

Projected starter: Nick O’Leary (Sr.)
Backups: Kevin Haplea (RS-Sr.), Giorgio Newberry (RS-Jr.), Jeremy Kerr (RS-Fr.)

Storylines: O’Leary had a breakthrough 2013, but with two of FSU’s top three receivers gone, he figures to see even more looks this year. Haplea returns from a knee injury that cost him all of 2013 and will likely take it slow entering spring practice. Newberry’s stint at tight end after moving from defensive end wasn’t entirely smooth, and he’s been vocal that he’s not enamored with staying at the position.

Status: A
O’Leary figures to be among the top tight ends in the country this season, and getting the veteran Haplea back for blocking situations adds to the unit’s depth and versatility.

What we learned: Week 3

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
2:00
PM ET
After Jameis Winston's dynamic debut against Pitt, Florida State fans had to wait an interminable two weeks for his encore. The wait actually ended up lasting through most of the first half, but once Winston and FSU got going, things escalated quickly. Here's what we learned along the way ...

Winston isn't perfect ... but he's close: Sure, even the most optimistic fans had to expect a flubbed throw from the reshirt freshman eventually, but it was no less shocking when Winston lobbed a high throw down the middle of the field for an easy interception in the second quarter Saturday. But if there were questions about how Winston would respond to adversity, he answered them ardently against Nevada. After the pick, Winston was 13-of-13 passing for 184 yards and led six straight touchdown drives, including a picture-perfect two-minute drill before the half.

Jimbo Fisher knows what he's talking about: Nevermind that Fisher turned wide receiver Xavier Rhodes into an NFL first-round pick at corner. Or that he might do the same for defensive tackle-turned-offensive lineman Cameron Erving. Fisher's latest position swap may end up his best. Karlos Williams practiced just eight days at tailback after spending his career at safety, but he still turned his first carry into a 65-yard TD run and finished the game with eight carries for 110 yards.

Jeremy Pruitt can play it safe, too: After three years under Mark Stoops' conservative philosophy, the promise from Pruitt was lots of blitzing and lots of aggression. That still may be the case, but against Nevada, FSU's D didn't push the envelope much. The lone takeaway was gift-wrapped for Tyler Hunter, FSU had no sacks and just two tackles for loss before garbage time with the backups, and yet the uptempo Wolfpack still managed just 219 yards in the game. Nevada ran nearly 20 fewer plays than its season average, in spite of a sizable time-of-possession edge. And like the opener in Pittsburgh, FSU's D got better as the game wore on -- allowing Nevada just 76 yards on its final nine drives.

FSU has some depth: Sure, it was Nevada. And sure, the Wolfpack had their reserves in the game for much of the second half. But it's nevertheless rewarding for Fisher to see some of his younger players and reserves make some noise. Ruben Carter got the start at right guard for injured Tre Jackson and looked good. Freddie Stevenson and Ryan Green got their first touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Reggie Northrup and Ukeme Eligwe made some big plays on defense. In all, Florida State's eight touchdowns were scored by eight different players.

Week 3 helmet stickers

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
10:00
AM ET
Florida State toppled Nevada 62-7, but spread the wealth on both sides of the ball. All eight touchdowns were scored by a different player, and no member of the defense had more than six tackles. Still, we managed to piece together some of the game's top performers for the Seminoles …

QB Jameis Winston: All the excitement leading up to Winston's home debut really did get to him. He said he came out too amped up, and it showed. He took a risk downfield early in the second quarter, throwing his first career INT in the process. Afterward, Jimbo Fisher calmed him down and told him to learn from the mistake. Winston listened, completing his final 13 passes and leading six straight touchdown drives. He's now recorded eight touchdowns (six passing) and thrown just five incomplete passes this season.

RB Karlos Williams: So what if the safety-turned-tailback had just eight practices to work at his new position. His first carry of his career still went for a 65-yard touchdown, he still managed to carry 10 Nevada defenders on a first-down run, and he still finished the game with 110 yards on just eight carries. Not a bad start for Williams, who helped anchor a rushing attack that racked up 377 yards and saw six different players score touchdowns.

Linemen Bobby Hart and Ruben Carter: A year ago, if the right side of Florida State's line featured Carter and Hart as starters, it would've been time to panic. This year, the duo held up quite well. FSU allowed just one sack -- to left end Lenny Jones -- and ran the football down Nevada's throat. Carter and Hart helped lead the charge. Hart has shown he's progressed nicely in FSU's first two games after spending all of 2012 in line coach Rick Trickett's doghouse, and Carter filled in for Tre' Jackson, who missed the game with an ankle injury, and looked like an old pro.

Hat tips to: Devonta Freeman racked up 109 yards on nine carries and scored; Kenny Shaw had 147 all-purpose yards and caught Winston's first touchdown reception; Tyler Hunter recorded FSU's lone takeaway; Jacobbi McDaniel recorded his first tackle for loss in nearly two years; Jalen Ramsey got his second straight start and helped snuff out a crucial fake field-goal try by Nevada.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The lure for Menelik Watson to return for his senior season was the potential of Florida State's offensive line. Had he played for the Seminoles again in 2013, all five starters from a solid unit would've been back, and Watson figured they could have been something special.

"They still are going to be one of the best in the country, but the camaraderie us five had was good," Watson said. "That was really the hardest thing for me."

[+] EnlargeHart
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesIf Bobby Hart can fulfill his potential, Florida State's offensive line might not miss a beat despite the loss of Menelik Watson to the NFL.
The unit entered the 2012 season with just 16 combined starts -- 14 of which belonged to center Bryan Stork -- but quickly jelled.

The question now is whether that same camaraderie -- and more significantly, that same potential -- can exist without Watson.

The numbers suggest Watson was integral to the line's success a year ago. Watson missed two-and-a-half games in the 2012 season, and in those 10 quarters FSU allowed 10 sacks. In the 11-plus games he played, the Seminoles allowed just 16.

Part of those struggles without Watson could be pinned on Daniel Glauser, another juco transfer who stepped in as the primary backup at right tackle throughout most of 2012, but that also underscores just how far Bobby Hart had fallen.

(Read full post)

Noles 2013 snapshot: Wilson Bell 

March, 7, 2013
3/07/13
8:00
AM ET
Now that national signing day is behind us, NoleNation takes a closer look at the next crop of Seminoles.

Vitals: Offensive guard Wilson Bell (Prichard, Ala./M.T. Blount), 6-foot-4, 290 pounds

Committed: Feb. 6, 2013

Noles 2013 snapshot: Ryan Hoefeld 

February, 27, 2013
2/27/13
7:00
AM ET
With national signing day behind us, NoleNation takes a closer look at the next crop of Seminoles.

Vitals: Offensive lineman Ryan Hoefeld (New Orleans/Brother Martin), 6-foot-3, 275 pounds


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

State of the Noles: Offensive Tackle 

February, 20, 2013
2/20/13
8:30
AM ET
NoleNation writers David Hale and Corey Dowlar are going position by position, looking at what FSU has on its roster now, and who might provide reinforcements down the line, projecting starters and evaluating the depth through 2015.

Up next, one of the biggest long-term needs for FSU: Offensive tackle.

Current scholarship offensive tackles (4): Cameron Erving (RJr.), Henry Orelus (RSSr.), Bobby Hart (Jr.), Wilson Bell (Fr.)

Potential early departures: The buzz surrounding Erving in his first season on the offensive line in 2012 was immense, making an early exit for the NFL a possibility. But throughout the year, he showed he still needed time to develop. He has the physical talent for the next level, but it remains to be seen if he'll be ready by the end of 2013.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

State of the Noles: Guards and Centers 

February, 18, 2013
2/18/13
8:30
AM ET
When it comes to recruiting, coaches are always thinking long-term. It's not just about which holes must be filled immediately, but rather where the needs might be in two or three more years.

With that in mind, NoleNation writers David Hale and Corey Dowlar are going through each position, looking at what FSU has on its roster now, and who might provide reinforcements down the line, projecting starters and evaluating the depth through 2015.

Up next, a look at the interior of FSU's offensive line: Guards and centers.

Current scholarship Guards/Centers (11): Tre Jackson (Jr.), Ruben Carter (RSSo.), Josue Matias (Jr.), Daniel Foose (RSJr.), Trey Pettis (RSSo.), Garrett Faircloth (RSSr.), Ira Denson (Fr.), Sterling Lovelady (Jr.), Bryan Stork (Sr.), Austin Barron (Jr.), Ryan Hoefeld (Fr.)


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Players Provide Playoff Picks
Some of the top college football players in the country provide their picks on who will win the inaugural College Football Playoff.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

ACC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12