The Noles are absolutely loaded at the wide receiver position heading into the spring. The rotation goes eight-deep, and the playmakers range from speedsters to possession guys all the way up to 6’5″ matchup nightmare Kelvin Benjamin. Returning to lead the assault is sophomore Rashad Green (57 Rec./741 Yds./6 TDs last season), who is one of the most complete wide receivers in the nation heading into the 2013 season. FSU will have little trouble replacing the departed senior Rodney Smith (38 Rec./524 Yds./3TDs), who was a very dependable weapon during his career with the Noles.
Juniors Greg Dent, Kenny Shaw and Scooter Haggins all bring different styles to the aerial attack, fellow junior Willie Haulstead looks to finally be healthy and ready to go after some concussion issues and sophomore Christian Greene from Tampa Catholic brings an Anquan Boldin-type physicality to the unit. New to the mix is freshman all-world track speedster Marvin Bracy. Bracy, who was an early enrollee this January, is spending most of the spring with the FSU track team. I’m not sure how much we’ll see him this spring, but if you’re a clone of former Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas, the coach will get you the ball somehow.
Leading the tight end group is sophomore Nick O’Leary. Yes, we know that he is the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and yes, we also know that he doesn’t wear gloves. Turns out he’s a pretty good football player, too. O’Leary has steadily improved since his 2011 freshman campaign and is poised to have a breakout season for the Noles this fall. At times last season he tried to do a little too much (trying to leap over defenders, which caused a fumble pretty much every time he did it) but I expect new tight ends coach and guru Tim Brewster to maximize O’Leary’s potential. Adding depth is strong-blocking junior Kevin Haplea, a transfer from Penn State after the “Diddle-gate” scandal last summer. Haplea adds another threat for the Noles in the jumbo sets has pretty good hands to boot. Talented freshman Christo Kourtzidis adds more depth to the position but will miss the spring with an injury.
Returning For Spring: (class year denotes 2012-13 season)
Name Yr. Ht./Wt.
Kelvin Benjamin FR (RS) 6’5″/243
Marvin Bracy FR 5’9″/172
Greg Dent JR 5’11″/185
Christian Greene SO 6’2″/206
Rashad Green SO 6’0″/175
Jarred Haggins JR 6’1″/187
Willie Haulstead JR (RS) 6’2″/233
Kenny Shaw JR 6’0″/170
Name Yr. Ht./Wt.
Kevin Haplea JR 6’4″/252
Christo Kourtzidis FR 6’4″/246
Nick O’Leary SO 6’3″/238
Who To Watch: Kelvin Benjamin – FR (RS)
Benjamin has freak size (6’5″/243), speed, and ability at the wide receiver position and has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses this fall. Benjamin came to FSU highly touted and highly hyped. Just looking at his high school highlights was reason enough to assume he would be the Florida State version of Megatron. A redshirt season in 2011 seemed to bring Benjamin back down to Earth and ensured his priorities would be in order. Benjamin had a solid 2012 redshirt freshman season (30 Rec./495 Yds./4TDs), but has the potential to be one of the best ever at FSU if he can put it all together and leave every ounce of talent on the field week in and week out. The exciting thing about Benjamin is that he has so much ability and so much time and room to grow. If Benjamin brings it in 2013, he will be near impossible to defend.
Rashad Green 2012 Highlights: (Apologies for the lyrics, hit mute – you’ll be fine….)
[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_7YcaWKlOw” autohide=”1″]
Kelvin Benjamin 2012 Highlights: (Apologies for the lyrics, hit mute – you’ll be fine…)
[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY3IviZeT8I” autohide=”1″]
Marvin Bracy Ridiculous Speed:
[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBJCZwzkCd8″ autohide=”1″]
New Tight Ends Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Tim Brewster:
[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kMRfcsaQUI” autohide=”1″]
Video Courtesy of The Florida State University Athletics Department and Seminoles.com