The last two seasons FSU has had the luxury of returning the majority of their secondary, and this helped them become last year’s top pass defense in the ACC and one of the top nationally.
This year, paired with a brutal schedule is much less experience and little margin for injury or error.
The top two players are the Robinsons, who aren’t related. Corner Patrick Robinson, was a dynamic playmaker who nabbed six picks as a sophomore in 2007, but was limited by injuries and suspension last year, though he still made a big impact when on the field. He has the athleticism, justcheck out his forty times, and the ability to have a breakout season this year, and some of his coaches think he could be a first round pick in the 2010 draft.
Jamie Robinson made the switch from reserve cornerback to free safety last year, and had a decent season while splitting starting time with the graduated Darius McClure. He looked outstanding during spring ball, making two interceptions during the spring game, and should be a top playmaker in his senior season.
After them is where the issues began. It is one thing to lose two starters in your secondary, but when you lose two hard-nosed players who have each started at their position since their freshmen years, you’re going to have to revamp to survive.
At rover, the ‘Noles lose Myron Rolle, who took the opportunity as a Rhodes Scholar to study at Oxford. They also suffer the graduation of four- year starter and defensive captain Tony Carter.
At rover, the top two candidates are Korey Mangum and Terrance Parks. Mangum is a converted corner who has been inconsistent during early practice, and is still learning the position. While he may be not be a solid prospect right now, he is known for his brutal hitting ability, and should at least intimidate opposing receivers.
Terrance Parks is a prospect whose abilities were compared to that of Eric Berry, and coaches are waiting for him to break out. He has yet to showcase his ability.
They will be pushed for playing time by incoming freshmen Gerald Demps, Jajuan Harley, and Justin Bright, all talented prospects. Also watch for redshirt freshmen Nick Moody and Ed Imeokparia to contribute. If D’Vontrey Richardson chooses to stay, he should see time also.
At the other corner spot, the competition is between Ochuko Jenije and Dionte Allen, a former top recruit from Detroit. They will continue the battle into the fall, as neither has gained a notable lead over the other, and will likely share time.
This will also give much-heralded cornerback recruit Greg Reid a shot at early playing time, along with redshirt freshmen A.J. Alexander. Reid was rated as high as the #15 overall prospect, and while he is a bit on the short side a 5’9”, he makes up for it with exceptional speed, quickness, and leaping ability. He also has a good set of hands to make plenty of picks.