Florida State opens camp on August 6th for the third time with head coach Jimbo Fisher at the helm. After a disappointing 2011 campaign, the Seminoles are looking to rebound and take the next step in 2012. Noles247 breaks down each position and any questions there may be heading into 2012.
Will Kelvin Benjamin live up to the hype in 2012?
New Faces: Possibly the fastest freshman in the country, Marvin Bracy (5-9, 172) was a four star recruit from Boone High School in Orlando. In January, he ran the world’s fastest indoor 55-meter dash and qualified for the 2012 London Olympics last summer, but did not go to the trials due to injury.
Current Personnel: Kelvin Benjamin (6-6/238 RS FR), Marvin Bracy (5-9/172 FR), Greg Dent (5-11/198 JR), Josh Gehres (6-3/202 RS JR), Christian Green (6-2/205 RS SO), Rashad Greene (6-0/175 SO), Jarred Haggins (6-1/187 JR), Willie Haulstead (6-3/230 RS JR), Zac Rittberg (6-2/209 RS SO), Kenny Shaw (5-11/170 JR), Rodney Smith (6-6/219 SR), Austin Stowers (5-8/170 JR), David Tyrrell (6-3/194 SO), Jermaine Washington (5-8/192 RS FR).
Coaching: Lawrence Dawsey is in his third season as the receivers coach and his sixth season overall with Florida State.
Spring Developments: In 2011, Rashad Greene led the team in receiving yards even though he was out due to injury for four games. Greene was once again injured and unable to participate in the spring Garnet and Gold game, but was active for most of spring practice and should be ready for camp in August if he can manage to stay healthy.
Redshirt junior Willie Haulstead will return this fall, adding depth to the position. Haulstead sat out the entire 2011 season because he sustained a concussion, but he did practice in the spring. All indications from spring practice was that Haulstead was looking better and back to his pre-injury self, when he led Florida State in yards per catch (15.4) and in touchdown receptions (6) in 2010.
Jarred Haggins also practiced in the spring and was dependable and consistent in the slot. He missed only two games after breaking his hand while making a catch against Oklahoma.
As the only senior at wide receiver this season, Rodney Smith returns as one of only four players with over 400 receiving yards in 2011. Smith was healthy and productive throughout spring practice and his teammates could see the improvement in his route running. He said his focus this spring was on learning the position even better and knowing where everyone is on the field.
Good things are expected to come out of redshirt freshman Kelvin Benjamin this fall as well. During his redshirt season he was able to observe the team and learn more about the game. He played in the spring game where he showed that he was able to run a shorter passing game as well as the deep game. Although the number of wide receivers at this time may keep him from seeing a lot of time on the field, if he continues to grow and mature, he could be a key to success for FSU this season.
Jarred Haggins looks to get back on track after missing part of 2011 due to injury.
Who will emerge as the team's No. 1 option? This question is as up in the air as any surrounding the offense heading into 2012. With Willie Haulstead aiming to make his return and with Kelvin Benjamin creating a buzz that he's ready to make moves, the quest to find this team's No. 1 receiver becomes all the more interesting.
After breaking out as a true freshman in 2011, Rashad Greene will certainly have a considerable impact in 2012, but it'd be on the surprising side of things if he ended up as the true No. 1 receiver. With bigger bodies like Rodney Smith, Haulstead, and Benjamin all in the lineup this year, it's unlikely that a smaller receiver like Greene would take over the top spot.
If the buzz is real and Benjamin really is shaping up to be the real deal, the battle for the No. 1 spot could get very interesting over the course of the next few weeks of camp.
Aside from Benjamin, who we still have yet to see any action from, all of Florida State's receivers have looked promising over the past few years. Haggins looked really good last season, despite being bothered by a hand injury, and Dent and Green have both showed promise whenever they've been given opportunities.
At this point, it's too early to give an accurate prediction as to who will breakout in 2012, simply because of how talented and deep the receiving corps is. With that being said, it shouldn't come as a surprise when one or two of the receivers listed above emerge as consistent producers for EJ Manuel and the Florida State offense this fall.
What kind of play calling should be expected as far as the passing game goes this year? This is a question many fans want answered, as the Seminole offense as a whole struggled to find consistency in 2011. However, if the offensive line improves as expected and if the running game returns to form, look for Fisher to open up the passing game much more in 2012.
On the other hand, if the ground game struggles again and the offensive line's woes continue, conservative game plans similar to those seen at the end of 2011 can be expected.
Sean Grimm contributed to this article.