NCAA

Noles Near Full-Strength For Season Opener

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E.J. Manuel

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

UM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami.com) – The sixth-ranked Florida State Seminoles are set to open the season next weekend against Louisiana-Monroe, and it appears the team will be at or near full-strength when they hit the field.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher had his entire starting lineup in place at Saturday’s practice for the first time during preseason camp. Seniors Andrew Datko, Zebrie Sanders, and David Spurlock have battled injuries and seen only limited action so far.

Running back Chris Thompson has been injured with a chronic back injury during the preseason after leading the Noles in rushing last season. His status is still up in the air, but the Noles have a stable of running backs that can immediately make a contribution.

But the player who could become starting quarterback E.J. Manuel’s best friend did return to practice Saturday after missing several practices this week. Tight end Nick O’Leary is only a true freshman, but he is expected to see significant playing time this season after turning heads throughout preseason camp.

The Noles play two tune-up games before one of the biggest games in Doak Campbell Stadium in years on September 17. FSU takes on the number one-ranked Oklahoma Soooners that day in a game that could determine both teams’ national championship hopes.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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