We're 1 day closer to Seminole football, folks. As of today, we're 89 days away. 89 also happens to be the number of Christian Green.
Christian Green is in his final year with Florida State and it's easily the most important year of his career. It will also determine whether fans consider him a bust or whether he's a story of redemption, but much Jacobbi McDaniel. Their stories aren't quite as similar (seeing as McDaniel was the victim of a near career-ending injury, but all that matters is whether Green can shine in his final year.
Looking back at his recruitment
At this time, Christian Green was a "big get" for Jimbo Fisher. He was a four-star and seventh ranked athlete in the nation. He had the physical tools to play right away, but take a moment to review this scouting report:
On the Hoof: Tall, lean, athletic-looking athlete similar in size to Markeith Ambles. Green has plenty of room to fill out and can add another 15-20 pounds.
Needs Improvement: Must learn the position of receiver. Needs to work on running better routes and getting off man coverage.
Most Impressive: He is a very graceful athlete that is smooth and his body movement is effortless, which is pretty amazing for a guy his size. There is also no question that he's a big-time playmaker. His stats - 1,200 yards passing and 656 yards rushing - prove that.
Conclusion: Most likely a red-shirt candidate as he learns the position of receiver. There is a chance he could end up on the defensive side of the ball as a free safety.
Notice anything? Even then, there were glaring concerns about his ability to learn the position. Make no mistake, he has, and had, the physical tools to succeed, but the risk of taking "athletes" is that there's an inherent risk as to whether they can master one position.
In the end, Jimbo took that chance.
The first three seasons
Green's freshman season was derailed by a shoulder injury. The downtime appeared to work to his advantage, however, as he began the 2011 season with immense promise. In 2011, Green failed to fine the end zone but nevertheless finished with some impressive games, including a 7 catch, 77 yard game against Clemson and a 4 catch, 102 yard performance against Wake Forest. Following those appearances, however, he began slowly disappearing. By the end of the season, he wasn't even the 4th most trusted weapon on the team; Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw, Rodney Smith, and Bert Reed all performed better.
In 2012, Green disappeared from the face of the earth, only catching three passes for thirty-three yards. He saw other players like Greg Dent and Kelvin Benjamin outperform him. He saw the field plenty, but was not targeted much. There is no injury to blame or lack of playing time.
In 2013, he caught 13 passes, but made tough catches when they needed to be made. Nine of 13 receptions went for a first down. If anything, it shows that his route-running has improved. On third down, the quarterback will throw to the trusted target; Green showed his reliability by proving trustworthy on third downs.
This is the make-or-break moment for the Tampa Catholic athlete. Will he be able to crack the starting rotation with Kenny Shaw and Kelvin Benjamin off to the NFL? We believe so.
The good news is that, during spring practice, he shared snaps in the starting rotation with Isaah Jones.
The bad news is that he has some serious competition. Not only is Jarred Haggins healthy and trying to prove himself, but Levonte Whitfield and Bobo Wilson are tremendously talented. We all know that Fisher will employ special packages for Whitfield, but we can't discount Bobo Wilson from taking starting reps. Wilson not only had a good spring, but drew praise from Jimbo Fisher for his route-running.
More trouble for Green is the fact that Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph have the potential to start from day 1 (granted, Rudolph moreso than Lane).
But Green demonstrated last year that he has the propensity to make tough catches (again, 9 of his 13 catches went for first downs). Ignore the fact that he struggled in 2012. 2013 was a year of trust-building. 2014 will be the year of the re-emergence; the year where he's finally able to align his talent with skill and become one of Jameis Winston's reliable targets in key moments (much like Kenny Shaw).