Florida State Football: Five Seminoles to Keep an Eye on in 2008

Corey DowlarContributor IMay 23, 2008

If you talk to any Florida State football fan they will surely tell you last season was a major disappointment.

Following the hires of Jimbo Fisher, Rick Trickett, Lawrence Dawsey, and Chuck Amato, excitement ran rampant around Tallahassee. Unfortunately, what ensued was a 7-6 finish and a major scandal taking place off the field.

This year’s squad can probably only go up from there—especially when considering a very favorable home schedule. Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Boston College, and Florida all have to come to Doak S. Campbell to do battle with the ‘Noles in 2008.

The 2008 Seminoles have an interesting blend of experience and a large amount of young talent. So who can we expect to emerge on the scene as playmakers for Bobby Bowden?


5. Corey Surrency–Wide Receiver–JUCO Transfer

Florida State went to the California JUCO ranks to ink the signature of a very promising playmaker in Corey Surrency.

The six-foot-five wide out possesses great speed to go along with his large frame.  He is exactly the type of receiver that Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher loves to have in his system.

Surrency will undoubtedly cause major mismatch issues on the outside against much smaller defensive backs, but not only with his size. Corey will be able to stretch the field on vertical routes and is fast enough to leave defenders in his wake.

When you add senior wide receiver Greg Carr to the mix, you are looking at an imposing set of wide outs that will cause defensive coordinators to lose some sleep.


4. Bert Reed/Taiwan Easterling–Wide Receivers–Freshmen

Both Reed and Easterling had extremely impressive spring performances for Florida State this past April. These two 5’11 shifty slot wide receivers are very similar in not only their size, but also their abilities.

Look for Jimbo Fisher to use this tandem across the middle where they can operate in space—exactly where they've proven to be deadly.

Reed and Easterling both will serve as nice compliments to the towers on the outside.


3. Tavares Pressley–Running Back–JUCO Transfer

Current starting running back, senior Antone Smith, has come under a lot of heat recently for not performing up to some high standards.

Many things could have possibly contributed to that such—injuries, a new zone blocking scheme, and a new offense.  However, for whatever reason. the coaching staff wanted desperately to bring in another option.

That option was Pressley—a teammate of incoming JUCO transfer Corey Surrency.

Pressley is a big strong runner at 6’1 and 215 pounds.  He also has plenty of wheels to pull away from a defense with a 4.4 40 yard dash time.

Physically, he will be more than capable of making a run at the starting job or, at the very least, significant playing time.


2. Kendall Smith–Linebacker–Sophomore

Former linebackers coach Kevin Steele first noticed this initially unheralded recruit at a camp and was so impressed that he offered him a scholarship very soon after. Fortunately, Kendall decided Florida State was the place for him.

As his senior season progressed, he shot straight up to the top linebacker spot in the state of Florida.

Smith was one of the few incoming Seminoles from last year that didn’t redshirt. He saw extensive time on special teams and would later start in the Music City Bowl against Kentucky.

While he did not blow the doors off the place, the potential was obvious to the casual observer.

Smith has reported to summer workouts in fantastic shape and has added several pounds of muscle. Look for Kendall to start at linebacker in the opener against Western Carolina.


1. Markus White–Defensive End–JUCO Transfer

Florida State was able to grab a physical freak by the name of Markus White from Butler County Community College in this past recruiting class.

White, who stands 6’4 245 pounds, garnered NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year honors for his brilliant season last year.

White possesses a great first step that allows him to beat offensive tackles off the ball and get to the quarterback in a hurry.

On the other side, Junior Everette Brown, who many consider to be a possible candidate for early departure to the NFL gives the Seminoles an intimidating set of defensive ends.

This special talent at the defensive end spot has FSU fans drooling over a pass rush from years past when the Seminoles’ defense would simply dominate opponents.


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