Christian Jones Must Step Up His Game for Florida State Seminoles in 2013

Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

Christian Jones was expected to break out in a major way for the Florida State Seminoles in 2012 following his move to weakside linebacker. While he turned in a strong junior season, it wasn’t the star-making performance that the FSU coaching staff thought they would get out of him. With new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt taking over the defense in Tallahassee, Jones will be given the opportunity to break out. Will he be able to capitalize?

It says a lot about the potential Jones has that his 2012 season was considered a bit of a let-down. He led the Seminoles with 95 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, with two fumble recoveries including one he jumped on in the end zone for a touchdown. While Jones was an active and dynamic part of the FSU defense last season, he failed to record a single sack, though part of that was the defensive scheme that emphasized the defensive line.

But in 2013, the focus will shift to Jones as Pruitt finds new ways to utilize the senior linebacker’s immense athletic talent. During the spring, Jones was lining up all over the defense to attack in different ways. Whether he was dropping into coverage, playing the run or rushing the passer with his hand in the dirt, Jones showcased just how dynamic and versatile he can be as one of Florida State’s best overall athletes.

With that expanded role, however, comes extra responsibility for Jones. Florida State will be using Jones in a variety of ways as the focal point of their defense, putting Jones in a position to make a name for himself as one of the elite playmakers in college football. If he can’t rise to the challenge, however, the entire Seminole defense could get bogged down with him.

To ensure the success of his team and earn a nice boost to his draft stock for the 2014 NFL Draft in the process, Jones has to step up his game and become a complete playmaker for FSU next fall. Can he get the job done?

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