TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Sophomore Greg Reid may be the star of the Florida State roster from the Southwest Georgia area, but there are several others who may also have a major impact in 2010.
Reid's high school teammate at Lowndes, redshirt freshman Gerald Demps, will be a backup at safety behind junior Terrance Parks. Demps was listed as the main backup at strong safety after spring practice but has fallen off the three-deep depth chart prior to today's opener at home against Samford.
During fall practice, Demps talked about new defensive coordinator Mark Stoops' coverage schemes and how quickly the secondary has been able to pick them up.
"It's not a real hard defense to learn," Demps said. "It's way different (than last year). We played man last year, now we've got zone coverage. It takes a lot of pressure off of us."
Demps may have his biggest impact on special teams, but there's a duo from Thomas County Central that could see the field on offense and defense quite often.
Sophomore Debrale Smiley will back up Lonnie Pryor at fullback but could see some goal-line carries because of his size and strength. Smiley, a 230-plus pound bruiser, was a Friday-night terror for the Yellow Jackets in Thomasville before spending two years at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. He last played in a live game in November of 2008, opting to redshirt at Itawamba last season to keep three seasons of eligibility at FSU.
Fisher gushed about Smiley's work ethic to get back into playing shape in the preseason.
"He came (into camp) in the high 250s (but) he's gotten to 232-237," Fisher said of Smiley. "He just didn't play for a while. He's looking very good catching the ball. Being able to block at fullback and line up at tailback (is a plus)."
Smiley's high school teammate, sophomore Amp McCloud, who went the same JUCO route as Smiley, is expected to see frequent playing time as the backup to Jacobbi McDaniel at nose. When junior tackle Moses McCray tore his ACL last month, McCloud's role got even bigger. Fisher called McCloud's transformation from an overweight lineman at 330 pounds, who also hasn't played since '08, to his current 6-2, 302-pound frame a "phenomenal" change.
"I think he's got a chance to be a real good player," Fisher said of McCloud.
Former Cairo Syrupmaker Cameron Wade will have to fight his way up the receiving depth chart to see playing time. Wade is not listed on the wideout 4-deep chart, behind a wealth of talented receivers in Willie Haulstead, Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed, Rodney Smith and Kenny Shaw.
Easterling, a junior who came in with Wade, said anything can happen in the 'Noles' passing attack.
"I feel like any of our receivers can contribute," Easterling said.