TALLAHASSEE, Fla. There are no questions about the wealth of talent that Florida State has at running back. The concerns revolve around their health.
Senior Chris Thompson hurt his back just five games into the 2011 season, and he missed Thursdays scrimmage with a hamstring injury. And Devonta Freeman missed the spring with a back injury. James Wilder Jr. has even practiced through a minor shoulder strain this preseason.
FSU also planned to use true freshman Mario Pender this fall, but he will be sidelined for the season after having groin surgery.
The Seminoles ran for 2,400 yards in 2010, but they struggled on the ground last year and produced just 1,458 yards. FSUs 112.1 rushing yards per game ranked 104th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
There were two factors for the drop-off: Thompson was lost for the season on Oct. 8, and the offensive line lost a number of veteran players to injury.
All signs point to improvement in 2012. Thompson and Freeman say their backs...