Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher opened up his team's fourth quarter conditioning drills to the media on Wednesday afternoon.
While many of the Seminoles look physically impressive, rising sophomore Karlos Williams still catches everyone's eyes with his physique.
The 6-foot-2 defensive back is now weighing close to 228 pounds according to Fisher, and despite still wearing a soft cast on his wrist has been very impressive so far this semester.
After the season Fisher had contemplated switching former five-start to offense, but after discussing it further with Williams elected to keep him at safety.
"We looked at it with who we have coming in, where we are and let him stay there and let him have a shot to win that job," Fisher said. "Because with moving Nick (Moody) up (to linebacker), you want to make sure you have enough guys because you're in nickel and dime a lot of the time."
Williams will be competing with rising junior Terrence Brooks, who is currently penciled in as the starter opposite of Lamarcus Joyner at safety.
"Terrence Brooks is your starter coming back," Fisher said. "Terrence is a big time player now. Athletic, sub 4.4, makes a lot of plays, and has great ball skills."
Throughout the spring and into the fall, Fisher expects Williams to push Brooks and be able to earn more playing time on defense. Last season Williams saw action almost exclusively as a special teams player.
Fisher has been pleased with the progress Williams has made physically in the offeseaon in preparation for the start of Spring practice on March 19.
"He's about 228, 229. Can't be less than that, can't be it's just how big he is," Fisher said. "He's running extremely well, he's gotten back in shape now good too. He'll have a great chance to compete at safety."
Benjamin making strides
After not being quite physically or mentally ready for Division 1 football last fall, Kelvin Benjamin looks poised to have an impact for the Seminoles' offense in 2012.
The redshirt freshman has done a good job getting himself physically prepared for spring practice.
"Making progress. Understanding how to finish, understanding how to press all the time," Fisher said of the 6-foot-6 wideout. "Has gotten himself in really good shape now that he can control that body. He's staying in that low 240s now, that's where he 's going to be in that low 240 range."
Benjamin has not only impressed Fisher with the work he has put in during workouts, but how he has handled himself in the classroom as well.
"Liked his progression," Fisher said. "Still has work to do, and he understands that, but I like his attitude. School has been going well and he's getting where he needs to get to."
Prior to the start of the workouts, FSU announced that they would be without several players this spring, while a number of others worked their way back from injury.
Perhaps the most impressive progression has come from rising junior Chris Thompson, who suffered a broken back during the 2011 season.
Thompson has been able to participate in the majority of the fourth quarter drills, taking a few extra breaks here and there to avoid pushing it too hard.
"It was great to see him back out there," Fisher said of Thompson. "We give him a break here and there because he hasn't done it in about a year, but when he goes it looks like the old Chris again. That explosion, we've just got to hope that the back maintains. The healing process so far has been very good."
Quarterback EJ Manuel has also made an impressive recovery from a broken fibula suffered in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Despite the injury Manuel finished the game and is expected to fully participate in spring practice. He was limited in some drills on Wednesday as he wore a soft cast around his lower leg..
"EJ will be fine," Fisher said. "Just we ain't going to press it and chance it. He'll be ready for Spring. He's healed up good, all the X-Rays came back super and he's been great."
Despite a shoulder injury that will keep him out for the spring Jacob Fahrenkrug was able to participate in conditioning drills.
Jeff Luc and Jarrod Haggins were both did not participate in Wednesday's workout.
After missing all of last season due to concussions, Henry Orleus and Willie Haulstead both look to be back to full speed, participating fully in the workouts.
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