Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spring Preview: Florida State

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spring Preview: Florida State

Article excerpt

FIVE TOP AREAS OF COMPETITION

1. Quarterback: Junior Dan Kendra and sophomore Chris Weinke

have diligently prepared for their shot at succeeding Thad

Busby. Kendra -- a hybrid model of the now-fashionable mobile

quarterback -- has the early edge in experience. Weinke, a

drop-back passer with NFL tools (size and arm strength), has

ground to make up. Both players have demonstrated leadership

abilities. Sophomore Marcus Outzen will also get a long look,

but may end up transferring if he's unable to make up ground

in the race.

2. Linebacker: The departure of MLB Daryl Bush and WLB Sam

Cowart leaves quite a void. Senior Lamont Green, coming off a

banner season on the strong side, moves into Cowart's weakside

spot. Longtime reserves Demetro Stephens (middle), Deon Humphrey

(strong) and Theon Rackley (weak) will finally have the chance

to prove themselves worthy of starting roles.

3. Offensive line: Replacing senior standouts Kevin Long

(center), Tra Thomas (tackle) and Melvin Pearsall (tight end)

are the top priorities. Returning starters Donald Heaven and

Jason Whitaker are clear leaders at the guard spots, but

injuries to sophomore tackles Ross Brannon and Jerry Carmichael

will provide ample opportunity to evaluate new talent. Converted

DT Char-ron Dorsey (6-7, 315), Tarlos Crumitie and Otis Duhart

-- all sophomores -- stand to benefit most from the exposure.

The most intense battles will likely be at center, between

sophomore Jarad Moon and junior Eric Thomas.

4. Running backs: Injuries, defections and sophomore Travis

Minor's excused absence (with the track team) make for a

tailback stable with limited experience. Sophomore William

McCray, last season's No. 2 fullback, will get a great deal of

exposure as the featured back in the spring. Starter Lamarr

Glenn is the lone fullback with game experience.

5. Defensive end: The position that has defined FSU's defense

over the past two seasons is again up for grabs with the

departure of All-American Andre Wadsworth and Greg Spires. …

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