Highly touted Florida State sophomore defensive lineman Eddie Goldman -- a consensus national top-10 prospect in the 2012 recruiting class -- is scheduled to make his first career start Monday. But he'll be making it at end, not tackle, the position he was recruited to play.
Goldman (6-feet-4, 303 pounds) is known for his quickness despite his bulk, and Monday night, he will be working against Pitt right tackle T.J. Clemmings (6-6, 305), a junior who will be making his first career start as an offensive lineman.
Going into fall camp, Goldman was expected to be part of a solid tackle rotation for the Seminoles and senior Dan Hicks (6-4, 260) was supposed to be fighting for a starting job at end. Instead, Hicks is scheduled to start at an outside linebacker spot against Pitt, and Goldman is listed ahead of senior Demonte McAllister (6-2, 290) -- who has been a tackle for his entire career at FSU -- at end. Another surprise came at one of the tackle spots, where sophomore Nile Lawrence-Stample (6-1, 305) has won a starting spot; he was a third-teamer coming out of spring.
The two starting spots along the line that weren't a surprise feature junior Timmy Jernigan (6-2, 292) at tackle and sophomore Mario Edwards Jr. (6-3, 277) at end. Jernigan should contend for All-America honors, and Edwards has the potential to be perhaps the best end in the ACC.
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters not to read too much into the depth chart, that players could see time at multiple positions.
"All of those guys are going to have roles," Fisher said. "Whether it's that [base defense] or nickel, dime packages. All those guys are big, physical, strong guys, and they'll rotate at times."
The depth chart in the secondary also had some surprises. Senior Lamarcus Joyner will be one of the best corners in the nation, and a lot is expected from senior free safety Terrence Brooks. But the starting strong safety Monday is expected to be junior Tyler Hunter, who entered fall camp as a corner. Karlos Williams, who was the projected starter at strong safety, now is listed as the backup to Brooks. The starting corner opposite Joyner will be sophomore P.J. Williams. Nick Waisome, who started all 14 games last season at corner, is listed as a co-second-teamer with touted true freshman Jalen Ramsey behind Joyner.
One overriding theme is that FSU is a bit bigger than it was last season on defense. That may be an offshoot of hiring Jeremy Pruitt away from Alabama to be the defensive coordinator; he was secondary coach at Alabama and replaces Mark Stoops, who became coach at Kentucky.