TALLAHASSEE -- Some of Florida State’s position races are coming into focus.
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher on Thursday shed some light on where things stand at key areas of the roster, including running back, linebacker and punter.
For starters, Fisher said that senior Karlos Williams has cemented himself as the team’s clear-cut No. 1 running back. As the only back with any game experience, Williams entered fall camp as the frontrunner, but still faced competition from sophomore Mario Pender and freshman Dalvin Cook.
“[Williams is] No. 1. No doubt,” Fisher said. “But the other guys, they’re right there. You feel very comfortable handing them the ball also.”
Fisher also revealed that sophomore linebacker E.J. Levenberry had surpassed junior Reggie Northrup and that, if the season started today, Levenberry would start.
And punter Cason Beatty’s job is safe for now. A string of inconsistency had led to speculation that Beatty could be overtaken, but walk-on Jonathan Hernandez hasn’t been able to outperform him.
“He’s not kicking better than Beatty right now,” Fisher said.
• Freshman receiver Travis Rudolph [foot] returned to practice Thursday as a limited participant. Rudolph was dressed out but mostly took part in individual workouts. “We’re easing him right back in,” Fisher said. “We don’t want to overdo it.”
FSU placed a nation’s-best seven players on USA Today’s preseason All-America teams. Tight end Nick O’Leary, guard Tre’ Jackson and kicker Roberto Aguayo all made the first team. Quarterback Jameis Winston, however, was relegated to the second team, along with receiver Rashad Greene, tackle Cameron Erving and safety Jalen Ramsey.