Florida State Football: Final Camp Stock Report

Bob Ferrante@@bobferranteContributor IAugust 21, 2014

Now the fun really begins for the Florida State football team.

Tuesday's scrimmage—followed by a well-deserved day off on Wednesday—marked the end of the Seminoles' preseason camp. Coach Jimbo Fisher said Thursday's practice is the first day where FSU will focus entirely on game preparation for the Aug. 30 season opener against Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas.

"I don't really have areas of concern," Fisher said. "I think we still have some battles going on where you feel good about two or three guys at a position. Building that depth."

As FSU transitions from camp to game prep, let's take a look at four storylines for the Seminoles:


New Starter on OL Should Fit Right In

With four returning senior starters on the offensive line, that group will be one of the Seminoles' strengths.

Austin Barron hopes to blend right in and fill the starting role that has been vacated by Bryan Stork, who won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center in 2013.

"I think I'm improving a lot," Barron said. "I have to keep on grinding."

Barron is a senior who has five starts under his belt, including one at Wake Forest in November 2013 when Stork was injured. But now it's Barron's turn to start, and he is happy to be finishing his college career alongside the linemen from the class of 2011.

FSU's line is anchored by left tackle Cameron Erving, the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner in 2013, and also features All-ACC guards Tre' Jackson and Josue Matias and an improving right tackle in Bobby Hart. Now Barron slides into the center role, a veteran with some experience who also is very familiar with how the men next to him work.

"We all came in together, we all had a mission together, we all want to play together," Barron said. "Our freshman year, we were taking reps in practice together and we're saying, 'Can't wait until we all finally get to play together.' And now it's finally happening."

Barron may not be nearly as good as Stork, but with four veteran starters around him, he should do just fine.


Could Greene and Green Be FSU's Starting Receivers?

Fisher has said that he wants to find consistent options at receiver in preseason camp. That seemed to indicate that he would choose a senior like Scooter Haggins or Christian Green as a starter over sophomore Kermit Whitfield or freshmen Travis Rudolph, Ermon Lane or Ja'Vonn Harrison.

When asked who FSU would start at receiver if a game were this weekend, Fisher didn't hesitate to say Rashad Greene and Christian Green. Greene is a slam dunk, a playmaker who has led the team in receptions each of the past three seasons. Green is a mild surprise given that he has just 42 receptions in three seasons and none were touchdowns.

But it's also clear that FSU will mix in a number of receivers. FSU's preseason camp achieved a major goal of ensuring that a large group of talented but mostly inexperienced receivers have received significant playing time with the first- and second-team offense.

"I feel very comfortable with eight guys in that rotation," Fisher said. "I really do. I say that's not playing them all, but I feel very comfortable if they had to go into the football game."

Green is 6'2" and 200 pounds, and he had 26 receptions for 450 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2011. He's talked about being patient and dedicating himself to improving, and he feels his time has come.

Expect to see plenty of Greene and Green. But FSU will also blend in Haggins, Whitfield and Jesus "Bobo" Wilson (who could still be facing a suspension after he reached a plea deal on reduced misdemeanor charges stemming from his alleged theft of a motor vehicle).

Rudolph has been repeatedly praised by Fisher, but the freshman's foot injury has limited him at times in August. Still, expect to see Rudolph and Lane (and possibly Harrison) on the field against Oklahoma State.

Even the Backups in the Secondary Are Good

Starting corners Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams missed the past week with hamstring injuries. Fisher has said that this is really not significant, as he knows what they bring to the table. Both simply need to rest and let the hamstrings heal, and Fisher felt they would return to practice Thursday afternoon.

In their place, FSU bumped senior Nick Waisome and sophomore Marquez White up to the first-team defense.

"If they had to play, you'd feel very comfortable putting those guys—Nick Waisome and Marquez [White]—in the game," Fisher said.

Waisome started 14 games in 2012 and had 21 tackles. White played mostly on special teams as a freshman in 2013. 

With Waisome, coaches know what they have. He's a capable cover corner, although not as good as Darby and Williams. White's future appears to be good, and he's opted to focus entirely on football.

White said that he has given up playing college basketball. After working out with the basketball team following the football team's national title run, White played just 10 minutes and made a three-pointer.

"I felt like there are certain things that I wanted to accomplish and do," White said. "To say that I did it. Playing college basketball was one of them."

It's tough playing two sports in college, especially when those sports significantly overlap. White tried, but he knows that his future is in football, and he is dedicated to improving himself as a corner.


Maguire's Knowledge, Comfort Is Rising

FSU fans should see plenty of backup Sean Maguire late in games with the Seminoles in control.

It's hard to believe that Maguire was once FSU's No. 4 quarterback in the spring of 2013. But after Clint Trickett transferred to West Virginia in May 2013 and Jacob Coker followed suit in May 2014, Maguire is now the unquestioned No. 2 option for FSU.

When Coker went down with a knee injury in November, Maguire stepped in and completed 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns in late-season blowout wins. Maguire spent the spring working with the No. 2 offense and gained invaluable experience.

"I remember last year saying you can watch all the film you want," Maguire told Warchant.com's Powell Latimer and Ben Jones (subscription required). "But it's different when you go out there. You can draw X's and O's all day and know the offense in and out, but until you go out there and see it and see the defense move and call the 'Mike' calls ... it's different."

Fisher has watched as Maguire has grown, seeing that he makes sound decisions each play.

"A quarterback's first job is to not lose a football game and to be able to distribute the ball to the right guys at the right times," Fisher said. "He is understanding the running game and making the right decisions in the passing game. I am very proud of his knowledge of what's going on."

Maguire may not play a significant minute of football in 2014. Every game may be out of hand when he plays. But with Jameis Winston eligible to enter the NFL draft in 2015, Maguire can gain a step up with the playing time he will earn in the second half of games.


Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bob on Twitter. All recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.


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