FSU picked back up with spring practice this week. Nothing big has broken, but there are many subtle story lines developing.
Specifically, you should be thrilled about Mario Pender’s emergence.
And at the same time, Fisher has been pleased with the way the veteran tailbacks have taken Pender under their wings.
Pender, who was rated one of the nation’s top five running backs in the 2012 signing class, took a redshirt last season while recovering from a sports hernia. Now healthy, he is beginning to show the explosiveness that helped him rush for nearly 12 yards a carry as a high school senior.
“He flashed at me a couple times today,” Fisher said. “I’ve been very pleased with the way he’s been coming along.”
“He’s a great runner,” Freeman said of his younger teammate. “He’s shiftier than me and James. He’s kind of like Chris. He’s going to (hit) the home runs and stuff like that.”
Having Pender at full speed should take pressure off the quarterbacks. The three-headed monster of Wilder, Freeman, and Pender is going to give ACC defenses many headaches. I can’t remember the last time FSU had three running backs who each had the potential to put together 1,000 yard seasons on their own.
Edit on March 27th: The last time FSU had a three running back system was, in fact, just last year with Chris Thompson. But the distinction is that last year, CT4 played an overwhelming majority of the games, and only when he got hurt, did we rely on a committee type system. Because neither Wilder nor Freeman are all-purpose backs in the way that CT4 was, I see us continuing the committee system this season. I think our running backs and offensive line can be so good that this year that we won’t need to pass much, if any, in the 2nd half of our games.