Florida State Spring Football: Devonta Freeman Injured, Out Until Summer

The Florida St. Seminoles will be without running back Devonta Freeman for the rest of spring practice due to a lower back injury. The rising sophomore led the Noles in rushing yards last year, though it was a by-committee enterprise, as he only totaled 579 on the ground. Still, he added 111 with his hands and looked to be one of the offense's prime contributors. He had a very good chance to hang onto the starting job, but now he'll have to fight his way back.

With James Wilder, Jr. suffering a felony arrest, and thus automatically ruled out of game action for the time being, FSU's running back depth chart is murky. Top 2010 back Chris Thompson is working his way back from injury, and Jimbo Fisher says early enrollee Mario Pender will get plenty of chances to prove himself.

If Thompson's able to battle back, Noles fans seem to like him as the leading challenger for Freeman's spot:

There really are no weaknesses in his game as he catches the ball well, is good in pass protection and can be effective running inside or outside. He lacks top end speed (extremely overrated anyway), but is FSU's most dangerous big play back as evidenced by three 70+ yard scoring runs in 2010. He excels at reading the blocks, anticipating lanes before fully developed, making decisive cuts and accelerating through the line of scrimmage. What he added to his game after Gran's arrival was power, allowing him to break out of the scat back mold. We should probably credit the strength and conditioning program massive upgrade as well.

For more on FSU football, visit Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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