Aug. 5, 2013
Nearly last but not least in our daily breakdown of each position on the 2013 Florida State football roster is a group that is deep on talent and veteran leadership -- two qualities that help make the implementation of a brand new, young quarterback all the more easier.
With veterans like seniors>Jarred Haggins,>Kenny Shaw and>Willie Haulstead, juniors>Rashad Greene and>Christian Green and redshirt sophomore>Kelvin Benjamin, FSU's quarterbacks have the benefit of throwing to elite receivers as they compete for the starting job. The Seminoles have also welcomed highly touted youngsters>Jesus Wilson,>Levonte Whitfield and>Isaiah Jones.
Greene is the superstar of the group, leading the 'Noles in receptions, yard sand touchdown grabs in each of his first two seasons in Tallahassee. Greene has the potential to reach the 1,000-yards receiving mark for the first time in his career because of his terrific route-running and playmaking ability. He also figures to be a favorite target of either Jameis Winston or Jacob Coker this season.
Green is listed as the starting "X" receiver on the outside entering fall camp and Benjamin is the penciled-in starter on the other side of the offensive formation at "Z" wide receiver. Benjamin is coming off a redshirt freshman year that saw him emerge as a legitimate downfield and over-the-middle threat. Consistency is Benjamin's biggest hurdle and if he can establish himself as an every-down, go-to pass catcher at 6-foot-5 and 238 pounds, opposing defenses figure to be in for some issues.
The third starting spot heading into Tuesday's first practice of the year features Shaw in the slot ("Y" position). Shaw has been one of the most consistent performers at wide receivers since he stepped foot on campus three years ago. The Orlando, Fla. native is also in the mix at the "X" receiver position as well.
As for Greene, the former high school quarterback begins his fourth year in the program as the No. 2 wide receiver at both "Y" and "Z" in head coach Jimbo Fisher's offense. Greene has never filled up the box score, but there has always been a strong possibility that at any moment, his athleticism and grasp of the offense could propel him to that next level.
In Haulstead and Haggins, FSU boasts key seniors that provide depth and playmaking ability. Haggins has battled with injuries but is a consistent target when he's on the field and Haulstead has the chance to regain his 2010 form after playing himself back into the rotation last year following medical redshirt 2011 campaign.
While there won't be many snaps to share, Florida State's young pass catchers will be doing their best to earn playing time in the rotation.
Wilson has already generated some early buzz during the summer months, impressing his coaches and teammates enough to be mentioned by name by both Fisher and Greene while taking part in ACC Football Kickoff events last month. Whitfield very well may be the fastest player in all of college football and should also be a factor on special teams and Jones gives FSU a big-bodied receiver that it lost when>Rodney Smith graduated.
"We've got five of our top six pass catchers, you've got all of your offensive linemen, you've got your tight end and you've got two of your top three backs," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said last month, "So from that standpoint there is a lot of continuity on offense that's got me very excited."
*Greg Dent is still on the roster but is suspended from all team activities indefinitely pending legal proceedings