TALLAHASSEE -- When Florida State’s football team reports for the start of camp Sunday, the only thing higher than the expectations surrounding the team might be the heat index.
Much like last season, the Seminoles enter with considerable hype and more than enough talent to make a serious run at not just an Atlantic Coast Conference title, but a national championship, as well.
But if recent history has taught Seminoles fans anything, it’s to temper their optimism as FSU hasn’t played in a national title game since 2000 and hasn’t won the ACC since 2005.
After starting last season in the top 10, a loss to then-No. 1 Oklahoma sent FSU into a three-game losing streak and ended any hopes of having a national impact.
By most standards, 2011 was a disappointment for the Seminoles, who finished the season with a 9-4 record and a Champs Sports Bowl victory over Notre Dame.
This season already has started with a tune all too familiar to the Seminoles’ faithful with the dismissal of a talented player weeks before the season opener.
A slew of off-the-field issues forced coach Jimbo Fisher to kick talented senior cornerback Greg Reid off the team Wednesday, just a day after he was named a second team preseason All-American.
Fisher must now address new questions in his secondary and on special teams with just under a month before the Seminoles’ opener against Murray State.
Junior Terrance Brooks and sophomore Nick Waisome could be tapped to replace Reid opposite redshirt junior Xavier Rhodes. Brooks saw his role increase last season but was moved to safety in the offseason. Waisome was listed as Reid’s backup after a solid spring.
Sophomore Tyler Hunter, freshman Ronald Darby and former Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas standout LaMarcus Joyner could also factor into the positional battle.
The bigger challenge will be replacing Reid’s impact on special teams, where his work as a punt returner had him poised to surpass Deion Sanders’ school return records this season.
Joyner and sophomore safety Karlos Williams could step in on kickoffs, while St. Thomas standout Rashad Greene and true freshman Marvin Bracy, a 5-9 receiver with track aspirations, could see action returning punts.