Yet another eye-opening reminder of just how young Florida State's football team will be when it hosts Miami on Labor Day night could be found in the depth chart the Seminoles released on Monday.
Seven true freshmen are listed on the two-deep chart as FSU enters final preparations for the season-opener. And that's just a start Underclassmen, as expected, dominate the pre-game depth chart.
"I think things have cleared up a little bit," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "We're still a young defense. Thirteen of our top 22 will be sophomores or freshmen. Seven guys have not played at all or they've played very sparingly. That's not really like the way you want to start. You'd like to be a little more seasoned but that's where we are.
"This year's defense is not short on talent. We've got talent. Probably the fastest defense maybe we've ever had."
Jacobbi McDaniel, who a year ago was destroying Madison County opponents, is defensive tackle Moses McCray's backup. Florida High graduate Brandon Jenkins, one of two true freshmen who received the unsolicited praise of quarterback Christian Ponder during a Monday interview session, is the backup to Markus White at right defensive end.
Greg Reid, the other newcomer mentioned by Ponder, will almost certainly see action at cornerback despite not being in the two-deep. The No. 2 free safety is Justin Bright. The fourth true freshman on the two-deep is another Madison County graduate in running back Chris Thompson.
True freshman Dustin Hopkins is listed as the starting kicker.
Injuries and performance could alter the depth chart before kickoff but it won't change FSU's dependence upon youth. Redshirt freshman Nick Moody, for example, enters the Labor Day night game as the back-up rover. Three of the top six linebackers are sophomores. Second-team left end Toshmon Stevens is a redshirt freshman. It's much of the same on offense where five sophomores are expected to start.
Andrews said that Reid, an All-American at Lowndes County (Ga.) High, will be used in third down-and-long situations.
"We have four kids in the secondary that are freshmen that could play in this first ball game," Andrews said. "And again, it may be that none of them play. Based on what we've seen so far, Greg Reid is probably closest to being ready to play because of what he's learned about our defense and the big-play capabilities that you have. ... Greg knows how to finish plays."
The depth chart also showed that the offense must count on youth. Just two players on offense, center Ryan McMahon and tight end Caz Piurowski, will be making their third start against Miami.
Sophomore Jermaine Thomas, as expected, is the No. 1 tailback with Ty Jones and Thompson sharing the second-team spot. Seniors Richard Goodman and Rod Owens are the starting wide receivers but offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said that he has a promising and deep group of receivers. That group should include another true freshman in Willie Haulstead.
True freshmen Blake Snider (left guard) and Garrett Faircloth (right tackle) are listed as second-teamers.
The Seminoles will start a walk-on at left defensive end in Craig Yarborough. Lincoln graduate Ja'Baris Little was named the starting fullback. Those were the two big surprises in the depth chart.
Among other starting spots that were undecided following Saturday's scrimmage, David Spurlock is listed first-team over Brandon Davis at right guard. Andrew Datko is the top left tackle. Ochuko Jenije, one of three area players expected to start, received the nod at field cornerback along with Korey Mangum at rover.