WR Chris Davis

2005 Statistics

Coach: Bobby Bowden
286-75-4, 30 years
2005 Record: 8-5
at Boston College WON 28-17
at Virginia LOST 21-26
at Duke WON 55-24
at Clemson LOST 14-35
at Florida LOST 7-34
vs. Virginia Tech WON 27-22
vs. Penn State LOST 23-26 (3OT)

2005 Final Rankings
AP-23, Coaches-23, BCS-22

2006 Outlook

Can this program ever revert back to the golden years of a decade ago? Each year the talent seems to remain the same, equating to a mountain of qualified pigskinners. Top five recruiting rankings are still the norm. And while 2005 saw a youth movement develop (which still applies), many point to ‘07 as the year FSU puts the program back on the national title race map. That argument is hard to dismiss looking at the current depth chart. 32 of their 44 players (on the spring two-deep) will be back next year, with 18 of them being freshmen or sophomores. Under the NationalChamps.net microscope, the Seminoles fail to place one single player on our 2006 Preseason All-American Team, an unheard of concept. These youngsters are talented enough to put the pieces of the puzzle together sooner as opposed to later.

However, FSU has two main issues continuing to haunt their immediate fortunes: coaching and the offensive line. In particular, son Jeff Bowden (offensive coordinator) has taken much criticism for the offensive ineptitude. Granted, QB play has hampered the upside of the talent for the last five seasons. Now it appears Jeff has found a QB capable of taking his schemes to another level with Drew Weatherford. At the same time, the offensive line remains the antagonist in this plot. With so few bodies and the lack of a standout performer up front, efforts to make improvements (especially in the running game) can easily/again fail. First, the running game diminishes, then the play-calls become predictable and the defense is left to bail FSU out. Sure, this scenario can win some of the games some of the time, but not all of the time, especially against the talent the ACC now possesses. Thus, FSU is left staring down another 8-4 type of campaign.

The offensive coaching seems to be making baby steps in the right direction. In particular with the hiring of OL coach Mark McHale in time for last season. The Seminoles seemed to circle the wagons those last two games, and the promise from those results (a win versus Virginia Tech to take the conference title, and then a three overtime loss to Penn State in the Orange Bowl) puts FSU in a position to remain in the preseason Top 15.

The “Noler-coaster” will again go down if FSU travels into Miami (to open on Labor Day) and again fails to defeat the Canes (haven’t won there since 1998’s 26-14 result). Unfortunately, the tone gets set from here in terms of the national implications. In terms of the ACC, FSU is favored to win the Atlantic, with Clemson (Sept. 16 in Tallahassee) called out to finish right on their heels. Therefore, all should have a good indication by mid-September on where these Seminoles stand.

If the defense is to bail this team out, the prognosis is still exceptionally strong. This is as good of a defense as any to take the field under Bowden’s 30-year tenure. Depth, speed, size and strength are all part of the equation. Long time defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews (22 years) has much from which to work and generally this spells trouble for opponents.

Anything short of nine victories in this now 12-game regular season is still considered a major disappointment for those who remember the great Nole teams of pre-2001. Going unscathed is really not an option given the parity their challenging conference now brings. 2007 may still be the pinnacle in this new millennium, but this upcoming campaign will go far into settling just where this program stands from a coaching standpoint and, accordingly what the future holds. Even with all of this substantiated doubt, FSU can beat anyone across the country on any given day. FSU can also lose to just about anyone outside of Troy, Rice, Duke and Western Michigan, all part of the 2006 schedule. This means every week is an adventure for this inconsistent team – if you are a fan riding the Noler-coaster, it will again be a wild ride. An exciting, unpredictable result means the final BCS prospectus is still unknown at this point.

Projected 2006 record: 9-3
QB - 4 DL - 4
RB - 4 LB - 4
WR - 4 DB - 3.5
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Drew Weatherford, 469-276-18, 3208 yds., 18 TD

Rushing: Lorenzo Booker, 119 att., 552 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Chris Davis, 51 rec., 666 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Jamie Christensen, 16-25 FG, 25-26 PAT, 73 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Jamie Christensen, 16-25 FG, 25-26 PAT, 73 pts.

Tackles: Buster Davis, 91 tot., 38 solo

Sacks: Lawrence Timmons, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Tony Carter, Roger Williams - 1 each

Kickoff Returns: Kenny O'Neal, 21 ret., 24.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Lawrence Timmons, 2 ret., 34.5 avg., 0 TD


DT Andre Fluellen
OFFENSE: James Coleman-FB, Leon Washington-TB, Willie Reid-WR, Matt Henshaw-TE, Donnie Carter-TE, David Castillo-C, Matt Meinrod-OG, Fred Rouse-WR (dismissed), Cornelius Lewis-OG (dismissed)
DEFENSE: Brodrick Bunkley-NG, Kamerion Wimbley-DE, A.J. Nicholson-WLB, Marcello Church-WLB, Gerard Ross-CB, Kyler Hall-ROV, Pat Watkins-FS, Chris Hall-P, Ernie Sims-SLB (NFL), Antonio Cromartie-CB (NFL)

No QB controversy exists, for now. Yes, two top-flight signal callers are still on the roster with Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee (2004 starter Wyatt Sexton has given up football). But Weatherford, coming off a season where he passed for more yards than any freshman QB in ACC history, has taken the reigns. After being named a first-team Freshman all-American (FWAA), Weatherford continues to improve by leaps and bounds with every “passing” day. Through two weeks of spring ball, he had purportedly thrown just one incomplete pass. His confidence, timing and knowledge of the system have been nothing short of amazing. With his backup Xavier Lee sitting out spring following off-season shoulder surgery, the job is his. In fact, Weatherford could easily be the best thing to happen for Bobby Bowden when looking at the QB situation the past five seasons. If coaches need to call on Lee (a former Mr. Florida football), they will get a guy with extreme talent(s), but he hasn't quite adapted to the position since he has not logged the same real-game experience behind center. Look for Weatherford to go nuclear this season given his progress. In other words, Drew may be the best signal caller in the ACC.

Running Back
The Seminoles dismissed the run completely last fall (109th nationally) and paid the price. An extreme priority has been placed on revamping this facet, enough such that coaches convinced Lorenzo Booker to return for his senior season after promising to make the necessary changes. In his fourth year of sharing the starts, Booker has to be more than another receiver out of the backfield. But when it comes to pounding the ball between the tackles, the answer will come from Antone Smith (yet another former Mr. Florida Football). Aside from the QB Weatherford, Smith has shown the most improvement/promise of any one player on this team. FSU will still be hard pressed to find a 1000-yard rusher once again with so much depth in the backfield splitting the carries. Nothing seems to have changed in this approach, and it has to do with FSU signing so many top rated RBs. Maybe a nice problem to have, but it has been a problem more in terms of finding that one guy who can be counted on. So much talent resides here that anything short of a semi-dominating rushing attack has to fall on the coaches’ shoulders. The FB position has been wiped clean with departures. They need a blocking back, pure and simple, which may have to be provided by an incoming freshman or a guy (Joe Surratt) who has yet to garner more than two rushing attempts.

Finding skill positions in the Sunshine State has never been an issue. Ergo, FSU is blessed with a plethora of veterans combined with a newfound youth movement. This is important in terms of what FSU does when they have the football should coaches (continue to) attempt over 500 passes. The player getting all of the publicity seems to be 6-6 Greg Carr, the only offensive Nole to receive all-Conference honors last fall, and it was just his first season. FSU loves the deep/jump ball and Carr does it better than anyone nationwide with his leaping ability. But when searching for the main target, that honor likely falls on senior Chris Davis. He'll be the leader; the player that likely stands out in this scheme for reception totals. His glory may go unsung, but his athletic ability, experience and pass catching skills are the best of the group. The promise of the freshman receivers from a year ago took a hit when Fred Rouse (nation's top-rated prep WR) was dismissed from the team. De’Cody Fagg, a major part of the rotation, will be the guy counted on instead. He is not as athletic as Rouse, but seems to have a knack for getting open. Speaking of that youth, three freshmen from a year ago will find their way into this mix (Kenny O'Neal, Richard Goodman, Rod Owens). One of them will take his play to the next level and becomes an eventual staple in the rotation. If two/all of them do, it just helps the team that much more.

Tight End
With the TE position being revolutionized at both the college and pro level, FSU fails to recognize this trend. For example, although top recruiting classes continue to churn, the Noles are still left with absolutely no one here on their depth chart. Sleeper Charlie Graham will attempt to give the team some reps at the position as a frosh, but the high hopes are that incoming first-year guy Brandon Warren (rated nation's No.1 prep TE by ESPN recruiting) can start immediately. Given the inexperience here and the devotion to developing a running game, apparently the offense will continue to suffer from the ignorance of what a TE can truly accomplish.

Offensive Line
The key to how far FSU travels starts here. With the above-stated priority of fixing the running game already in place, the task simply won’t be accomplished with the same dismal 2005 effort from this unit. Injuries crushed this (already questionable) group last year, and such plagues the new campaign, too. Each position has a player that has garnered starts at some point of their career. But coaches have failed to address improvements here via recruiting. Only five healthy scholarship players are available this spring. The two tackle spots still have some serious questions. Mario Henderson seems to be getting better, but all-American JUCO-transfer Shannon Boatman (already enrolled) is going to make a push for starting duties at one of the spots. If he lives up to the hype, this would be a huge bonus. The most watched position may be at center as John Frady continues to be hampered by injuries. Dumaka Atkins can take over, and this would allow Frady to slide over for more support at guard, where he seems better suited. In short, not one of these players stands out as a certified top caliber blocker. OL coach Mark McHale will pray this unit stays healthy or it will be just another case of a one-dimensional passing offense. Ugh!

Run the dad-gum ball! The Seminoles must develop some/any form of a rushing attack or else opposing defenses will continue drop seven cover men while stopping the run with only four/five men. Such would not produce more than eight victories. Weatherford looks to be a star either way, but his individual accomplishments won’t be enough to get them over such humps. In any other system, any one of the four TBs FSU possesses could flourish, so the talent is there, just seemingly being wasted until this notion is proven wrong. The progress and health of the OL is the team’s measuring stick, period. All the skill position players in the world, which FSU seems to maintain, cannot make up the difference if the big men cannot open holes and protect their passer.


QB Drew Weatherford


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Drew Weatherford-So (6-3, 220) Xavier Lee-So (6-4, 227)
FB Joe Surratt-Jr (6-1, 263) Matt Dunham-Fr (6-2, 250)
TB Lorenzo Booker-Sr (5-11, 193) Antone Smith-So (5-9, 190)
Jamaal Edwards-So (6-0, 215)
WR De'Cody Fagg-Jr (6-3, 221) Joslin Shaw-Jr (5-10, 183)
Kenny O'Neal-So (6-1, 195)
WR Chris Davis-Sr (6-0, 180) Greg Carr-So (6-6, 203)
TE Charlie Graham-Fr (6-3, 241) Caz Piurowski-Fr (6-7, 234)
OT Mario Henderson-Sr (6-7, 304) ..
OG Jacky Claude-Jr (6-4, 308) Marcus Ford-Jr (6-3, 280)
C John Frady-Jr (6-4, 306) Dumaka Atkins-So (6-4, 310)
OG Cory Niblock-Sr (6-4, 300) Geoff Berniard-So (6-8, 342)
OT Shannon Boatman-Jr (6-7, 309) David Overmyer-Jr (6-5, 303)
K Gary Cismesia-Jr (5-11, 214) Graham Gano-So (6-1, 189)



Defensive Line
Some holes need to be filled due to senior departures, but do not be fooled into thinking this group isn't ready for the limelight. Experience may not be as prevalent, but tough, qualified bodies are plentiful. The first-team assurances afforded when fielding DEs Burston and Boston have been affected by the injury bug, but this has given others - such as freshman Everette Brown - a chance to shine. Brown is going to be one of the nice surprises for FSU this year with his tenacity. Before signing with FSU, Aaron Jones was everybody's prep all-American. He has failed to live up to the billing, as fans and coaches have questioned his drive. Apparently he has finally found such and is expected to make a considerable contribution, which could not have come any sooner with the departure of NG Broderick Bunkley. One of the handfuls of surprises this spring was the announcement of Kendrick Stewart as the starting NG. Throw highly regarded Emmanuel Dunbar into the list and it's easy to see how deep this group goes. The anchor is DT Andre Fluellen, who will push for post-season award honors. Watch out for this assembly of raw talent - the expectations should not be quite as high as usual, but that will only help them to produce needed results.

This unit is unparalleled for how many top-rated players the Noles have from which to pick. The first misconception would be to assume that because a few are gone (NFL) that they must reload. In actuality, many players on the current roster have logged extensive playing time without the unit missing a beat. One of those players is Lawrence Timmons, the team's returning sack leader. LB coach Kevin Steele expects a brilliant season from this prototypical bruiser. Buster Davis is back and will be the anchor/leader/tackling machine needed for the entire defense to revolve around and rely upon. He surely will get looks for post-season all-American consideration. How Steele is able to attract these kids in abundance has been nothing short of amazing – but he produces results, and who wouldn’t want his tutelage with such a reputation. Given the fact many of these players are athletic, fast and strong enough to lineup at any LB position affords the defense the luxury of being as capable as any that Bobby Bowden fielded in the last 30 years.

Defensive Back
There's a new sheriff in town and his name is Myron Rolle. The Princeton, N.J.-native was ESPN's No. 1 rated prep recruit at any position, and he was smart enough to have enrolled in January so as to be part of spring ball. Through the early spring he has proved to be as good as advertised. He was named as the top January newcomer by the strength and conditioning coach and can already be seen covering every corner of the field. The timing could not have been better as the safety position is/was a major concern with the graduations of Pat Watkins and Kyler Hall, the transfer of Clarence Ward, the academic problems of Kenny Ingram, and (finally) the injury to FS Roger Williams. Both starting corners, Carter and Bryant, are being held out of contact drills this spring following off-season shoulder surgeries which opens the door for Jamie Robinson, another four-star recruit and workaholic gaining praise with each practice. CB Michael Ray Garvin, even another prep all-American, will join the fold as he concentrates on both track and football. Because of his lack of height (5'9), most felt he would not be able to effectively cover taller receivers, but he has proven quite the opposite, mostly due to his tremendous (runs the 40 in 4.3 sec) speed. In short, the corner position is deep, but the safety position is one injury away from forcing some roster moves. Although just a first time freshman, the health of Rolle cannot be overemphasized.

After a short-term drop off in the new millennium under long time Coach Mickey Andrews, the defense is back with a vengeance. This may be one of the most underrated defenses, but they proved already (via 2005’s 14th-rated total effort) that they can keep the Noles in a game when the offense struggles. Andrews’ bunch allowed foes to score more and more as the season went on, and FSU lost four of the last five. Still, holding potent Virginia Tech and Penn State under 30 (22 and 26, respectively) to end the campaign allows us to think that this trend was an aberration which won’t continue. Why? Talent-wise, (outside of safety) most positions have three to four reserves that could presently start at most Top 50 schools. Recruiting has been as good as ever despite the recent downward spiral of the program, and the defense is reaping the most rewards. If FSU is to repeat as conference champions, once again the defense will be the reason.


LB Buster Davis


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Alex Boston-Jr (6-3, 264) Everette Brown-Fr (6-4, 240)
Neefy Moffett-So (6-1, 263)
DT Andre Fluellen-Jr (6-4, 286) Letroy Guion-So (6-4, 286)
NG Kendrick Stewart-Fr (6-2, 271) Emmanuel Dunbar-So (6-5, 292)
Aaron Jones-So (6-3, 285)
DE Darrell Burston-Sr (6-2, 240) D.J. Norris-Jr (6-3, 252)
SLB Lawrence Timmons-Jr (6-3, 230) Jeremy Franklin-Sr (6-2, 202)
Toddrick Verdell-So (6-3, 215)
MLB Derek Nicholson-So (6-2, 232) Jae Thaxton-So (6-3, 246)
WLB Buster Davis-Sr (5-11, 240) Geno Hayes-So (6-2, 215)
Rodney Gallon-So (6-0, 200)
CB Tony Carter-So (5-9, 160) Michael Ray Garvin-So (5-8, 181)
CB J.R. Bryant-Jr (6-1, 172) Trevor Ford-So (6-0, 192)
ROV Myron Rolle-Fr (6-2, 218) Anthony Houllis-Jr (6-0, 210)
FS Roger Williams-Jr (6-0, 200) Darius McClure-So (5-11, 198)
P Graham Gano-So (6-1, 189) Brent Moody-Jr (6-2, 185)




Just when a top high school kicker with great promise to change the tide here steps on the field, it seems he is cursed. Gary Cismesia is just the next in line. After missing multiple key kicks in the Orange Bowl just months ago, one has to wonder about the Bradenton-native’s confidence. While he looks good at times (14-for-18 from beyond the 30), he struggles when you need him most. Graham Gano has a stronger leg as he took over kick-off duties, but his accuracy and consistency is still questionable enough to have Cismesia keep his job.

The battle for punter is open. Gano (and his 42+ prep average) is first in line, but look for Louisville-transfer Brent Moody to make a run at the position.

Return Game
With so much skill-position talent/speed, one would think kick/punt returners would easily put up all-American numbers. Willie Reid came close last fall, but losing him (in fact, the top three punt returners are no longer with the team) forces FSU to look elsewhere. Needless to say, the PR job is wide open. Kenny O'Neal will continue to return kicks. His numbers were decent (22.7 avg.), but he has yet to display the ability to run one back for six. Expect tryouts this August to give a chance to just about anyone and everyone.