2007 Draft Preview - the 9/4 edition...

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Jan 13, 2006
Mon. 9/4/2006 – (11) Florida State @ (12) Miami - 5:00 PST ESPN - O MY, Monday Night Football and what a way to start the year.... buckle up the chin straps, this is a 5-star game… Tonight, you will probably be looking at the two teams competing latter this year for the ACC Championship… Miami expects to win the ACC title, Florida State expects to win the ACC title, and both want to play for the National Title… Make no mistake, this is the ACC Game of the Year - and both teams know it… some great DB’s in this one…

Florida State -

The Noles are the preseason pick to finish first in the Atlantic division of the ACC, but they feel their season will be a success if they’re playing for the national title… If the Noles can win this one, the toughest games left are all at home... Offensively, they have a QB that should've been named the ACC Player of the Year last year… they have a legitimate NFL-er in RB Lorenzo Booker… and the scouts are drooling over WRs Greg Carr, De'Cody Fa*g and Chris Davis … lots of weapons… Defensively, only four starters return on a defense that lost a lot of talent to the NFL (Ernie Sims, A.J. Nicholson, Kamerion Wimbley , Brodrick Bunkley and Pat Watkins)… so, it’ll be all about the kids, especially this early in the season, but they have their share of super-preps…

Let’s start with some Congratulations… props go out to Head Coach Bobby Bowden, who was recently named to The College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2006… With 359 career wins in 41 seasons, Bowden has won the most games in the history of Division I-A college football... He is the only coach in NCAA history to win 11 consecutive bowl games, make 14 straight bowl appearances and appear in the Top Five of the AP final rankings for 14 consecutive seasons… Cheers Coach....

Drew Weatherford - All-ACC???

Drew Weatherford, Soph, QB, 6-3 220, Florida State - the teams best offensive player and possibly the most underrated quarterback in the nation last season... he had a terrific 05, as he led all freshmen quarterbacks nationally in passing yardage with 3,208 yds (276-469, 59%) and passing TDs (18)... he passed Philip Rivers as the top freshmen passer in ACC history with his 258-yard performance in the Orange Bowl vs. Penn State... Weatherford looks to be on the verge of being a major talent, although he threw too many INTs (18) last season - perhaps, a reflection of having no running game and a banged up O-line... but by the end of the year, and in the two biggest games of the year, the ACC Championship and the Orange Bowl, he only threw one pick… I don’t cover QB’s or Soph’s very often, but I can’t remember a QB in the ACC as good as this guy, since, well some kid from NC State… this will be a real test, as he throws into the best secondary in the country with Phillips and Meriweather…

Lorenzo Booker, RB, 5-11 195 4.46, Florida State - a potential 2/3 rdr, in 05, 119 carries, 552 yds, 4.6 ypc, 4 TD, plus 38 catches, 329 yds, 8.7 ypc, 2 TD... he has been a disappointment so far (he was considered THE top prep in HS), only rushing for 1,773 yds and 13 total TDs in his three years... but,... he has unbelievable speed and great hands finishing third on the team in receiving last season... this game could go along way in determining if Booker is an early round draft pick, or drafted at all…

Chris Davis, WR, 6-0 180, Florida State - In 05, a very respectable 51 catches, 666 yds, 13.1 ypc and 5 TDs... he was the team's leading receiver last season… he's a quick, consistent playmaker who makes big things happen when he gets the ball in his hands... he’s considered by his QB (Weatherford) to run the best routes and have the best moves after the catch…

De'Cody Fa*g, Jr., WR, 6-3 221 4.40, Florida State - In 05, 36 catches, 404 yds, 11.5 ypc and 1 TD... Knee and academic issues has his career off to a slow start, but he has the best overall combination of skills in the receiving corps with a 4.4 motor... now he has to turn into a more dangerous deep threat…

The offensive “I saw him first” award goes to: Greg Carr, Soph., WR, 6-6 200, Florida State - In 05, 30 catches, 618 yds, a gaudy 20.6 ypc and 9 TDs (lead the ACC) - Yikes... Carr had a fantastic freshman year showing off his athleticism by going up and getting the deep ball often… clearly, at 6-6, he creates matchup nightmares for most DBs…

David Overmyer, Jr., ROT, 6-5 300, Florida State - Overmyer started every game at right tackle getting better as the year went on. He has good size with the strength to play guard if needed. It'll be a shock if he's not the anchor of the line… played both left and right tackle in spring practice...

Buster Davis - hmmm, another Tim Dobbins???

Buster Davis, ILB, 5-11, 240, Florida State - Strong enough to play in the middle and fast enough to start on the weakside… His versatility allows him to line up anywhere, depending on formation and his production is a reflection of his experience…. In 05, 81 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 BPU… over the last few seasons with 141 tackles and 18 TFL... a fierce tackler who'll be the intimidator of the D... he is their best defensive player currently, and opposing coaches know all about him, and so do the running backs...

Andre Fluellen, Jr., DT, 6-4 286, Florida State - In 05, 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 7.5 TFL... With the quickness of an end in the body of a tackle, he could be ready for a big season.. He's a nice run stopper… was given the Second Effort Award and was also named the most dependable defensive tackle by the coaching staff in the spring.. has been named to the Lombardi Award watch list... good size for a 3-4 DE don’t ya think…

Myron Rolle

And the defensive “I saw him first” award goes to: Myron Rolle, Soph., Rover, 6-2 218, Florida State - I'm not sure he quallifies for this award as he's already listed as the teams best pro prospect, and he’s likely to be All-ACC this season…. As one of the nation's top recruits coming in, he garnered a ton o' press during spring ball, as being every bit as good as his prep hype (he did have an INT return for TD in the first scrimmage)… He's got phenomenal speed that has gotten him next-level notice already... he is legitimately the next coming of Cromartie… Oh, and btw, he’s smart and educated - he’s a pre-med major… hope AJ's watching, Cro and Rolle would make an awesome tandem... here's a good interview: http://seminoles.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/042106aab.html


Jan 13, 2006
Miami -

The Canes are the preseason pick to finish first in the Coastal division of the ACC, but the new ACC isn't the old Big East... there are too many good teams to battle with on a game-in-game-out basis to expect a title every year... this year's team has enough talent to think about the national title, but just enough holes to keep it from happening... however, if Miami wins this one, it will quickly find itself in the national limelight at least until it plays Louisville in week three… it also has a very tough second half sched (Georgia Tech, Va Tech,… Boston College)…

Offensively, it will come down to the O-line, which was an eye sore last season, but HC Larry Coker had this to say: "Their intensity level has really picked up," … "I've been really pleased by their overall toughness and their attitude. They have cut down a lot on mentals. To have a good football team, we can't have penalties, the muffed snaps and the mentals. That's what the offensive line has cut down on." … QB Kyle Wright is one of the most talented passers in the ACC, RB Tyrone Moss is back from a torn ACL and having a good preseason, and the WRs are big and fast with perhaps 3 NFL-ers in addition to first round pick TE Greg Olsen... Coach Coker is expecting a lot from Lance Leggett and Darnell Jenkins specifically: "They are going to be extremely important," … "If they don't make plays against Florida State, we're probably not going to win. That's just plain and simple. We have to have plays out of our receivers."

Defensively, the ‘canes will once again be among the best in the nation with a seemingly endless stream of size, speed, and depth... After a recent scrimmage, Coach Coker remarked: “The defense showed its depth with plenty of players rotating in and showed its talent by chasing the ball well and creating turnovers”… They have more talent at DE and LB than starting positions - they can go three deep at DE without seeing a significant drop-off in talent… as an example, keep an eye out for 6-8 Calais Campbell - he’s moved into the starting DE spot in the offseason.. "(Calais) decided to make himself a starter because of his performance during the spring. He was one of our most-productive defensive players."… "Now he is getting the size and strength to go with it.”… The safeties are among the best in the nation with Brandon Meriweather and Kelly Phillips each deserving of All-America honors... and as many as four CBs compete for a starting position opposite of Glenn Sharpe...

Greg Olsen - First TE off the board??

Greg Olsen, Jr., TE, 6-5 252, Miami - In 05, 31 catches, 451 yds, 14.5 ypc, 4 TD… the teams best offensive player; he has it all: hands, deep speed and blocking ability... there are few better route runners and even fewer TE’s with better YAC... He makes a QB look great especially on third downs but is most dangerous when he’s stretching the seam or matched on with a linebacker… his experience in a pro-style offense has to make him the strong favorite to be the first TE taken in the 07 draft, if he decides to declare... keep an eye on Olsen, he destroyed the Seminoles last year…

Kyle Wright, Jr., QB, 6-4 220, Miami - In 05, 180-307, 59%, 2,403 yds, 18 TD, 10 INT... the key question: will he be more consistent… he threw for 12 TDs against “lesser” teams and 6 against everyone else… his talent is there with size, arm strength and poise under fire, but now it all has to come together and he has to start being a difference maker…

Tyrone Moss, RB, 5-9 232, Miami - In 05, 137 carries, 701 yds, 5.1 ypc, 12 TD, plus 1 catch, 17 yds... played like an All-American at times, but he saw his big year get cut short by a torn ACL in the Virginia Tech game. He's short, but powerfully built with next-level breakaway speed... based on offseason reports, the knee is expected to be fine by this game... ... unfortunately, Moss will not play in the this game due to a violation of team rules…

Brandon Meriweather - The Best FS???

Brandon Meriweather, FS, 6-0 190 4.49, Miami - CFN's ACC Defensive Player of the Year and one of the nations elite safeties, he comes into the season a veteran of 19 starts over 40 games… he has very good range and has played both safety positions… some believe, he has the athleticism to eventually move to cornerback (17 PBU and 6 INTs)... there's not much separating LSU’s LaRon Landry & Merriweather talent wise, and it should be a dogfight to see who goes first… he's a sure tackler with great technique as his 202 career tackles would indicate and he packs a wallop… or do they mean a weapon… he’s known for both….

Miami’s candidate for the “I saw him first” award is: Kenny Phillips, Soph., SS, 6-2 202, Miami - 88 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 interception, 4 broken up passes… he’s no longer a secret really, he has been as good as advertised... One of 05's top HS recruits, he stepped in and starred from the beginning… he's a good-sized hitter with moves like a cornerback, showing off the 4.4 speed… Was named to virtually every All-Freshman team in 05... had a stellar prep career in which he was the nation's top safety prospect and USA Today High School Defensive Player of the Year in 04...

Baraka Atkins, DE/DT, 6-4 275 4.87, Miami - If he bulks up some, he could be a dominant tackle on the next level or a 3-4 DE... he has seen action at both DT and DE, and could be on the verge of a breakout season... A career 34 starts and leads all returning ‘canes with 13 career sacks... An All-Conference candidate he has a potent pass rush and big-play ability…

Bryan Pata, DT/DE, 6-4 280, Miami - In 05, 25 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 TFL, 14 QBHs - has been moved to DT after three years at DE... he’s considered the team's best pass rusher… he's a quick and very strong... he must improve his consistency for a full season... in preseason camp, has been adjusting well - "That's been a great transition for (Pata) and for our football team," Coker said. "He's adapted well and is doing a great job with it. He's played there a little bit. Now he's playing there and getting coached. That's a position for him."... he's also worth keeping an eye on for the Bolts...


Jan 13, 2006
Florida State vs. Miami - Keys to the Game

a. Florida State RB Lorenzo Booker vs. Miami safeties Brandon Meriweather and Kenny Phillips – Typically, a running back won’t be matched up against safeties, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see both Meriweather and Phillips play near the line of scrimmage as a fourth linebacker to completely eliminate the FSU run game. Booker’s quickness can only be of use if he can get a seam up front, but when he does, he’ll be swapping paint with these two. The FSU offensive staff won’t be able to account for them in the run game blocking scheme, but if Booker can have some early success and draws this pair, or even just one of them to the LOS, FSU QB Drew Weatherford can throw it behind them for a big play. But, Booker has to get in a groove early and stay in it to force Miami DC Randy Shannon to use his two best players to help stop him.

b. Miami TE Greg Olsen vs. FSU strong safeties Anthony Houllis and/or Myron Rolle – Let’s be clear about this one fact – FSU can’t cover Olsen with an outside linebacker. That was proven after about the first five catches or so in last year’s game, then Olsen still had three more against either Pat Watkins or Kyler Hall, the Noles two safeties. Either Houllis or Rolle will be starting for the first time and that’s not good news for FSU DC Mickey Andrews when it comes to covering the All-American tight end. Another wrench in the plan for the Seminoles is not knowing exactly how new Miami offensive coordinator Rich Olson will use Olsen – whether he uses him as an in-line threat or more of an H-back. The FSU defensive brain trust will have to adapt on the fly and that puts even more pressure on these two untested strong safeties.

c. Florida State OT Shannon Boatman vs. Miami DE Baraka Atkins – Atkins is probably the closest thing that this Miami defense has to a dominating pass rusher and the Noles have to account for his ability to get heat on FSU QB Drew Weatherford. The juco transfer Boatman is starting for the first time and will have his hands full with the Miami DE. Atkins size is probably of the most concern. At 275 pounds, it limits what the FSU offensive staff can do from a protection standpoint against him. With a guy who has good quicks off the edge, a team can stagger their protection schemes, first a tackle, then a TE/H back and then a running back chipping off of him. But, Atkins has the size to run through Boatman or rip back inside and not get ‘washed’, avoiding any help that a TE/RB could provide on the outside.

d. Florida State WR Greg Carr and Chris Davis vs. Miami corners Glenn Sharpe and Randy Phillips – Carr doesn’t catch a ton of balls in a game, but you can be guaranteed that he’ll catch a big one for a key first down and/or a gamebreaking touchdown. He’s 6’6” and physical. Virginia Tech corners Jimmy Williams and Roland Minor found out that Carr will use that size and physical ability to push off to get open. Against Virginia Tech’s aggressive pair of corners in the ACC championship game, FSU went to a quick passing game and Carr got his separation by pushing off the Hokies in man coverage – of course, it was subtle. Sharpe and Phillips can’t get into a shoving match with Carr. If put in man coverage against him, they’ve got to get an initial jam and then run with him, leaving some space to not allow Carr to be able to push off and use that leverage to get free. Carr won’t burn them with his speed, but he uses that inability to go deep against the corners by pushing off and working back to the ball, whether on a short out cut, curl route or deep out cut downfield. The key for Sharpe and Phillips is feet – be quick with the feet, be in position to play angles and don’t get tied up with the big fella downfield.

e. Miami Interior OG Andrew Bain and Derrick Morse and Center Anthony Wollschlager vs. FSU DT Paul Griffin and Andre Fluellen – Throughout the second half of last year, no one could block FSU DT Brodrick Bunkley and he ate up anything in his path. Double or triple him, it didn’t matter – he destroyed it all. But, that’s not the case with Griffin, the rookie. This being his first start, he faces a quality center Wollschlager who has seen some good ones. If Wollschlager can win that battle, he frees up one of his guards to get up to the second level, the linebackers. But, Griffin is a beast at the point of attack and his strength could be a major concern for the Canes center. One of the reasons that the Nole linebackers played so well last year was Bunkley’s ability to penetrate and draw guard help throughout the game. FSU LB Buster Davis is explosive to the ball, but he’ll get eaten up inside as guards are getting free shots at him throughout the game. To adjust, he might try to slip blocks and get caught, which could produce a big run by Miami RB Charlie Jones. The DTs, in particular the juco transfer Griffin, will have to play exceptionally well and win that G-C-G/DT battle for FSU to have a chance to win

ACC Game of the Week

Florida State at Miami 8 pm EST ESPN Sunday, September 3rd
Why to Watch: The game between Michigan and Ohio State might be a November treasure, but this rivalry is one of the most physical in the nation, bar none. Throw in the venerable Orange Bowl and there’s a better than average chance for this game to be a classic. Since the days of Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin, at least one of these teams has been in the national championship race deep into the season, which means the game is, well, important. It’s even more important with ACC supremacy at stake, at least for now, until the end of conference title game when they could meet again. These two played a defensive, mistake-filled snoozer last year with Florida State finally breaking a long Miami hex, but now the two are far better and should play a far better game mainly because ...

Why Florida State Might Win: ... QB Drew Weatherford is ten times better than he was 365 days ago, and if the offensive line can keep him upright, he should be able to do some damage after having a razor-sharp off-season. FSU RB Lorenzo Booker says that if he can get to 1,200 yards, the Noles will be playing in Tempe in early January, and a trip to the Orange Bowl is the start of that trek. He doesn’t just think he can get there, he knows and this is step one in that journey. The Miami offensive line, a big problem throughout last year, is still a work in progress and won’t be able to get to the Nole linebackers allowing Buster Davis and his boys to run free to the ball all night long.

Why Miami Might Win: The loss of top Cane WR Ryan Moore (indefinitely) and RB Tyrone Moss (one game) to suspension isn’t felt nearly as much as seems on paper with several other weapons able give the Noles fits. Even with a good linebacking corps, Florida State doesn’t have a way to match up with All-American tight end candidate Greg Olsen, who had eight grabs for 137 yards last season in Tallahassee. If he continues to find open spaces, QB Kyle Wright will get more and more comfortable and be able to control the tempo.

Who to Watch: The winner of the battle between Weatherford and the Miami defensive backs will win the game. Much has been made out of how much better the Florida State sophomore is, but he's starting off against, arguably, the nation's best secondary. All-America caliber defensive backs Kenny Phillips and Brandon Meriweather are key to keeping the Seminoles receivers out of the middle and getting into the box to defend the run. ... Also keep an eye on Olsen, who destroyed the Seminoles last year. If FSU looks to take him away in the passing game, it could open up deeper areas of the field or help the Miami running game.

What Will Happen: Wright will have to throw it 35 times with the Seminoles eating up the Miami running game thanks to no dynamic threat in the Cane backfield. Florida State forced former Virginia Tech QB Marcus Vick to throw 52 times in the ACC championship game, and it won’t be shocking to see the same defensive gameplan apply. Weatherford has the better running talent to work with and eventually he’ll be able to find either Greg Carr or Chris Davis deep down the middle for a big touchdown or key play off of play action against the Miami aggressive safeties. But, it is Miami playing Florida State in Miami, so you know what that means.

CFN Prediction: Miami 19 ... Florida State 14 ... Line: Miami -3.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Pants Off, Dance Off) ... 5

I'm going with Weatherford... Florida State 21 Maimi 17

DAMN, this is gonna be a good one... anyone throwing a party??? with a BIG screen in HD... :icon_eek:

I'm available... :yes: