Two players who were expected to play with Florida State during spring practice, offensive lineman Ira Denson and freshman linebacker Kain Daub, will not be working out with the team when spring camp opens on March 19.
Update: Friday, March 7 – 2:35 p.m. ET
According to Sean Rossman of Tallahassee.com, Denson is not, as previously speculated, in some sort of academic trouble. Rather, he was involved in a Dec. 22 shooting after an argument with teammate Mario Pender. He was not, however, the shooter in the case.
Depending on how the case unravels as more facts come out, Denson might never play a down in Tallahassee.
That may just be the start of his problems.
-- END OF UPDATE --
Denson missed the majority of his freshman season with a shoulder injury after coming to Tallahassee as a 4-star recruit, per the 247Sports composite, in the Class of 2013. However, this absence seems to be academically charged.
"We’re going to evaluate how he does," said head coach Jimbo Fisher, according to Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel. "He’s got to continue to do well, we want him to do well academically. If he does, he does. If he doesn’t, we’ll have to adjust."
Daub is one of the best players in the Seminoles' most recent recruiting class, the class of 2014, and was expected to be a name to watch this spring. He was a 4-star recruit and the No. 4 inside linebacker prospect in the nation, per the composite.
Daub's absence sounds more like a bigger potential problem for the Seminoles. According to Sonnone, he is dealing with eligibility issues that have kept him off the practice field.
"It’s not anything that he did academically, it’s a [NCAA] Clearinghouse issue that he’s having to clear up with a class," said Fisher. "So he’s not eligible to be out here right now, but he’ll get through this and hopefully he’ll be here in the summer. He won’t be here in the spring, he’ll be in the fall."
Daub was not expected to compete, legitimately, for a starting job in 2014 despite his high ranking as a prospect. Florida State is deep and talented enough on all levels, including linebacker, to incur this loss with little practical repercussion.
However, Daub is also an important piece for the future who was expected to play well in spring camp and become a part of the linebacker rotation. With the NCAA making him jump through hoops before stepping on the field, he might stand less of a chance at being a contributor in 2014.
Is this the end of the world? No.
FSU's spring practice will continue as scheduled, and the absence of Denson and Daub will not be a major storyline.
But it's at least worth keeping an eye on.