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June 27, 2008

Rookie Impact Players: No. 5 Tavares Pressley

A large majority of Florida State's 2008 recruiting class arrived on campus within the past few days. Many of these rookie players won't have much time to get acclimated to college life and will be counted on to contribute immediately. Fortunately, for FSU there are some talented newcomers that are capable of jumping right in the mix. Based on voting from the staff at Warchant.com and Osceola, we will count down the top six impact newcomers for the upcoming season.

Warchant.com is counting down the top six instant impact rookies for the 2008 season

No. 6 - DT Moses McCray

No. 5

Tavares Pressley (6-1/215) Arcadia, FL (El Camino JC/Torrance, CA)
Position: Running Back

Jersey Number: 39

Class this fall: True Junior (3 to play 2)

Recruiting Ranking: Four-star, No. 13 overall in JUCO (#2 RB)

JUCO Stats: Rushed for 832 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007. In 2006, rushed for 1,211 yards, had 147 receiving yards, 357 yards on returns and 23 TDs.

JUCO Accolades: PrepStar Junior College All-American and first team All-Mission Football Conference.

40-yard dash/Vertical: Reported 4.4 and a 33" vertical

In the weight room: Benches a max of 385 and has a squat max of 500.

Notable: Played QB his entire life before going to junior college.

videoJUCO Scouting Video
Expert's Take: Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree- "He's a kid that kind of surprised people with how talented he was out there in California. It's all about skill in the California junior college game and he went out there and just tore things up. He was a kid that a lot of people thought early on was going to be a mid to upper level prospect, a kid that was going to be maybe a mid-level ACC, mid-level SEC or mid-level Big 12 type guy. But by the time he was done playing early in some of those games as a sophomore he proved that he was an upper level prospect, and proved that he has the skill. I just love his all-purpose ability to catch he ball out of the backfield, his ability to go out there and be a true home run threat on any given down. As he moved forward you can see why he ended up being a Florida State level recruit. This kid was one of the pleasant surprises we saw on film when it comes to evaluating JUCOs last year.

Just from the depth chart situation you have to expect him to have an impact and I think he's mentally capable to pick things up. He was a very intelligent and articulate kid in talking to him through the process. As much as it is tough physically, JUCO kids often have a tough time making the adjustment mentally because they are having so much thrown at them quickly. But from an intelligence and football knowledge standpoint I think he'll be able to pick those things up pretty quickly."

Projected impact this season: Pressley probably would have been ranked higher but for the fact that he is still in junior college putting the finishing touches on his AA degree. While all signs point to him being on pace to get his academics in order, FSU has been burned before by JUCO prospects coming up short. Also, the four-star back is missing out on valuable weeks of training time at FSU and will have less time to get acclimated to college life when he arrives in late July. But assuming he does make it in before the start of two-a-days, there is a golden opportunity for Pressley to earn significant playing time this season. The Seminole coaches didn't make it a secret that they were a little disappointed with Antone Smith last season so a talented back coming in has a real chance to not only get significant reps but to compete for the starting job. What also works in Pressley's favor is that at 215 pounds, he is the type of back that Jimbo Fisher likes to have in his offense. With his size, slashing style, speed and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Pressley should at the very least split carries with Smith this season. That being the case, he will have every opportunity to make a instant impact in year one.
Long term impact: Being a junior college transfer, Pressley's career at FSU will be a short one. He has three years to play two but with the need at running back it's extremely unlikely that he would redshirt absent injury. Unlike most members of the 2008 recruiting class, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound back has a chance to make a fairly immediate impact but could really shine in his final season. With Antone Smith being a senior, Pressley should be FSU's main ball-carrier in 2009. Assuming he can stay healthy and adapt to Jimbo Fisher's system, the Arcadia (FL) native could be one of the 'Noles major playmakers next season. That's because Rick Trickett's entire offensive line will return in 2009 and Pressley is the odds on favorite to get the bulk of the carries.
More on this player: When will Tavares Pressley arrive? * Pressley Ready to Live Out his Dream

Gene WilliamsGene Williams is the founder and administrator of Warchant.com and writes stories and features covering all of FSU's sports with an emphasis on football and football recruiting. For seven years, Williams hosted a weekly sports radio show in Tallahassee. He currently appears as a weekly guest on 1010 XL Sports Radio in Jacksonville and 1270 The Team in Tallahassee during football season. Williams is also a former ACC correspondent for College Football News (weekly national newspaper), and contributes to The Osceola. Story about Gene Williams & Warchant.com.

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