Aug 21, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Eddie Goldman knew that his five-star ranking would only go so far. It didn't matter if he was considered one of the very best players in an already loaded 2012 Florida State signing class, Goldman knew that hype and recruiting profiles meant nothing once you join an elite program like FSU.
Everyone is highly touted. Everyone has massive expectations.
That's why Goldman, considered to be one of the top defensive tackles in high school when he starred at Friendship Academy in Washington D.C, understood that his role last season as a reserve player on a crowded depth chart would be short lived if he worked hard.
"It's been what I expected," Goldman said. "I knew it was going to be a competition and it was going to be hard to try to get playing time."
Goldman played in 10 of FSU's 14 games his rookie year, logging occasional repetitions behind such proven players as Everett Dawkins, Amp McCloud, Timmy Jernigan and Demonte McCallister.
Under the tutelage of longtime defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins, Goldman spent that first year soaking up as much as he could from the veterans, with hopes of one day soon doing his best to help replace them.
"It was helpful because I got to see Everett Dawkins, Amp [McCloud] and Demonte [McAllister] as well," Goldman said. "And it helped me just by looking at them. They would help me with my technique as well but just by looking at them and seeing how it's done helped me as well."
With Dawkins and McCloud now in the grind of NFL pre-season football with the Minnesota Vikings, Goldman has been asked during fall camp to take the next step in his development.
Combining with Jernigan, McAllister, and a healthy Jacobbi McDaniel, Goldman finds himself in position to log some important snaps for the Seminoles his sophomore year -- perhaps even as a starter. The 'Noles also boast a rotation that includes fellow young up-and-comers Nile Lawrence-Stample, Derrick Mitchell and Justin Shanks, as well as true freshman Keith Bryant and junior-college signee Desmond Hollin.
"[Goldman is] doing really good," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "He's coming on, progressing very well ... progressing very well," Fisher said. "He's got a chance to be a really good player and can be a very dominant guy in time."
"I'm getting more comfortable in the scheme and understanding the playbook more," Goldman added. "Demonte [McCallister] is helping and I'm just growing with the team."
Beatty ready to lead inexperienced special teams unit
FSU punter Cason Beatty finds himself in an unfamiliar place this year: he's a veteran in his position group.
Beatty still may be an underclassmen but with kicker Dustin Hopkins and long snapper Dax Dellenbach no longer on the roster, the sophomore is the only one in the special teams trio with any experience. It's now his job to lead Roberto Aguayo and Philip Doumar.
"We are going to come out big this year. Roberto is absolutely killing it; I think he's up to 64 and 67 [yards] and he only has three missed field goals all of camp. I know he has a lot of confidence in me that the ball is going to be there. We are so much together on that. Phil is doing great snapping the ball and not making me work at all."
For Beatty, his off-season has been centered around improving from a 2012 season that saw him average 38.3 yards-per-punt.
The Charlotte, N.C. native said an emphasis has been placed on refining his mechanics.
"I've shortened up my steps significantly since last year and that's just been a beyond difference from the spring to the fall and it's allowed me to hit much bigger balls now," Beatty said. "It's just my short steps and keeping all my torque underneath my shoulders instead of getting long."
Beatty's duties as the starting punter also includes holding on extra points and field goals for Aguayo.
Having to fill the golden cleats of Hopkins -- the NCAA's all-time leading scorer among kickers -- is no easy task. But it's one challenge that Aguayo, Beatty says, is ready for.
"I know a lot of people ask Roberto about coming off one of the greatest college kickers of all time, and his mentality is kind of like, 'OK, Dustin had his four years and now it's my four years now,'" Beatty said. "That's what he is going off of and he's just killing the ball right now."
As for Doumar, the redshirt senior has snapped in four games during his two-year 'Noles career but never as the team's full-time player at the position.
The third piece to FSU's special team's trio, Doumar worked with Beatty this summer to perfect their timing and on-field communication.
"Dax made my freshman year extremely simple," Beatty said. "A lot of people don't see it but he really helped me out during my freshman year by just putting the ball where it needed to be and he doesn't get as much credit as he should. But Phil is doing a phenomenal job. He's worked his butt off this fall. And we worked five days a week in the summer snapping -- not necessarily punting every day but I'd go catch for him so we could work together.
"He's doing great and the three of us are just feeling really comfortable together."
-FSU's second scrimmage of the fall Wednesday was a lot like its first in that the team had to retreat into the new indoor practice facility because of inclement weather.
-Florida State's quarterback battle is coming down to the wire with no decision from Fisher yet on whether or not Jacob Coker or Jameis Winston will start under center against Pitt Sept. 2. Fisher said in his office Wednesday that both Winston and Coker impressed him during the scrimmage and that presumed third-string quarterback, Sean Maguire, also had a nice day running the offense.
So when will Fisher make the long-awaited decision?
"I won't put a timetable, but it could happen," Fisher said. "I'll wait and look at the film and we will talk to the staff again. We have talked two days as a staff and kind of reevaluate things -- what everybody's opinion is [and] what they are seeing -- and we'll have a staff discussion and we will go through it."
Fisher said that FSU's two young quarterbacks about the eventual decision will be told before any public announcement is made.
-On the injury front, Rashad Greene did not take part in the scrimmage while he deals with an injured finger. Fisher said that his star pass catcher will probably be kept out of action for the next several days.
On the offensive line, utility man Jacob Fahrenkrug was held out of the scrimmage with a shoulder injury. Junior safety Karlos Williams also has a banged up shoulder but he was able to participate with a non-contact jersey on.
Several other 'Noles wore non-contact jerseys despite being healthy; instead wearing them to help preserve their health heading into the season. Instead of being hit, key players such as Kelvin Benjamin, Kenny Shaw, all four of the scholarship running backs --James Wilder, Jr., Ryan Green, Mario Pender and Devonta Freeman -- and Nick O'Leary were each only allowed to "thud."
-The 'Noles won't practice Thursday but will do so Friday, with some early preparations for the Panthers set to be worked into the close of camp.
-Remember: Aug. 30 is College Colors Day. Wear garnet and gold to support the 'Noles.