February 8, 2012

2012 Position Breakdown: Running Backs

Running Backs: 2011 review, grade and 2012 season preview
Florida State struggled to find any sort of semblance of a running game throughout the 2011 season. Only two teams in the ACC averaged less than the Seminoles 112.2 yards per game on the ground. FSU averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

  • Devonta Freeman: 120 carries for 579 yards (4.8 per carry) and 8 TDs.

  • Jermaine Thomas: 61 carries for 279 yards (4.6 per carry) and 1 TD.

  • James Wilder Jr.: 35 carries for 160 yards (4.6 per carry) and 1 TD.

  • Chris Thompson: 29 carries for 83 yards (2.9 per carry) and 1 TD.

  • Lonnie Pryor: 27 carries for 74 yards (2.7 per carry) and 2 TDs.

  • Ty Jones: 23 carries for 71 yards (3.1 per carry) and 1 TD.

  • Grade


    Florida State's running game was unable to get going much of the year due to a number of injuries along the offensive line, as well as a devastating season-ending injury to Chris Thompson in just the fifth game of the season. With Thompson out, the load fell to true freshman Devonta Freeman because seniors Jermaine Thomas and Ty Jones continued to make mental errors despite being the elder statesmen. Freeman performed admirably leading the team with an average of 4.8 yards per carry, he also had 15 receptions for 111 yards.
    Returning players Junior Chad Abram 6-0/227 Lakeland, Fla. (Kathleen)

    RS Freshman Eric Beverley 5-9/220 Jacksonville, Fla. (First Coast)

    Sophomore Devonta Freeman 6-8/200 Miami, Fla. (Miami Central)

    Senior Lonnie Pryor 6-0/230 Okeechobee, Fla. (Okeechobee)

    Senior Debrale Smiley 5-11/230 Thomasville, Ga. (Itawamaba CC)

    Senior Chris Thompson 5-8/190 Greenvielle, Fla. (Madison Co.)

    Sophomore James Wilder Jr. 6-2/220 Tampa, Fla. (Plant)
    Warchant.com Staff
    position outlook for 2012

    Gene Williams, Publisher
    Gene's take

    D.C. Reeves, Managing Editor
    DC's take

    Paul Thomas, Staff Writer
    Like the Seminoles' quarterback play, the running game was handicapped much of the year by poor offensive line. The running backs certainly didn't do the team any favors as they struggled in pass protection and with assignments as well during the season. I think the injury to Thompson was a bigger blow that people think. Last season he didn't only lead the team in rushing but he was the homerun threat as well for the offense. I think that we saw glimpses of what Freeman can do, and he could have a speculator season in 2012 after going through his second set of spring practices. I also think that after a spring and another fall camp of meetings and practices, Wilder will become a bigger part of the offense next season.
    2012 Commitments Mario Pender 6-0/185 Cape Coral, Fla. (Island Coast)

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