State football notes: FSU freshman could see action Monday
Published: August 29, 2013   |
Updated: August 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM
TALLAHASSEE — On the Florida State depth chart for the season opener, there are eight true freshmen listed on the two-deep.
Three are three on offense. Four are on defense. And one on special teams. And they all have a chance to play, according to coach Jimbo Fisher.
“There’s going to be a lot of them (in the game) at different times,” he said. “Some of them will have to mix in more than others, but I’m looking forward to it. I hope they all make (an impact). The more guys you get out there the more experience you get them earlier in their career.”
On defense, linebackers E.J. Levenberry and Matthew Thomas are both listed as second-teamers on the depth chart, but Fisher expects most of their work to come on special teams.
One true freshman defender who likely will play Monday night against Pitt, perhaps a lot, is 6-foot-1 CB Jalen Ramsey, who has impressed the coaching staff and his veteran teammates this preseason.
“He was very focused,” senior DB Lamarcus Joyner said of the former five-star prospect. “He didn’t let the hype get into his head. He respected the older guys. He’s a very respectful kid. Very humble.”
On offense, Wilson Bell has secured the second-team spot at left tackle, but he’s backing up All-ACC candidate Cameron Erving and isn’t expected to play much this season unless an injury occurs.
At wideout, two true freshmen are on the depth chart. The 6-4 Isaiah Jones is listed as Rashad Greene’s backup at the X position, and Jesus “Bobo” Wilson is behind Kelvin Benjamin at the Z.
Fellow freshman Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield, an elite track star, is listed as a backup kick returner.
PENDER INELIGIBLE: Fisher announced Thursday after practice freshman RB Mario Pender will be academically ineligible for 2013.
Pender, who redshirted a season ago, was expected to be the Seminoles’ No. 3 running back this year behind juniors Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr.
Now, freshman Ryan Green will be inserted into that role.
“(He’s) making plays, learning the offense, catching the ball, doing things,” Fisher said. “Now he’s picking up blitzes and blocks. Very proud of the way he’s progressing.”
Powell braces for emotional return
GAINESVILLE — It was the little things that Ronald Powell missed the most.
Running out of the tunnel before games. Celebrating sacks with teammates. Seeing his name on the depth chart in the defensive meeting room.
He may have taken those details for granted his first two years at Florida. But after two operations on his left knee in a five-month span forced him to miss all of last season, the fourth-year junior has a newfound appreciation for those often overlooked aspects of the game. And that should make his return all the more special Saturday.
Powell, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker who led the team in sacks as a sophomore, will play his first game since the 2011 season when the 10th-ranked Gators open the season against Toledo.
“Going through something like this and something you never thought you’d go through, it doesn’t matter how humble you are, you get humbler,” Powell said this week. “It’s a different experience. You learn to find value in things you may not have valued before.”
Powell expects butterflies when he runs onto the field Saturday for the first time in nearly two years.
“It’s close. It’s here,” he said. “It’s like my dream is about to come true again.