Less than two weeks after they celebrated a national championship, four Florida State seniors quickly began the transition to the NFL.
Linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith, safety Terrence Brooks and center Bryan Stork have been working this week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. They will play for the South squad in Saturday’s game, which will air at 4 p.m. on the NFL network.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are coaching the South team. Jones praised the enthusiasm of Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley and said that both Bradley and the assistants have helped prepare him for the NFL Draft in May.
"I truly believe they have helped me become a better player this week," Jones said. "The Senior Bowl has been a great experience for me."
At 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, Jones made an impression this week. A linebacker for most of his Florida State career until he moved into a rush end spot at midseason, Jones can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive front. Jones recorded 225 career tackles at Florida State. He is strong against the run and can also blitz.
Brooks, at 5-11 and 197 pounds, has shown his ability at safety after beginning his career as a corner. He’s always closed quickly on running backs and has good cover skills.
Smith has struggled at Senior Bowl week during one-on-one drills. At 6-2 and 218 pounds, he clearly needs to bulk up for NFL scouts. On the plus side, he is an instinctual linebacker, leading the Seminoles with 90 tackles in 2013. In the BCS championship game, Smith made 15 tackles against a massive Auburn offensive line.
Stork won the Rimington Award as the nation’s top center. At 6-3 and 304 pounds, he has come a long way from being a high school tight end. He started 40 games at Florida State and has been the team’s most consistent lineman the last four seasons. NFL scouts like his versatility: Stork has seen the most playing time at center, but he can also work both guard spots or right tackle.
While most players make an impression on NFL talent evaluators during the week, there’s still a game to play on Saturday afternoon.
"I’m looking forward to competing with some of the best players in the country (on Saturday)," Jones said. "My time at the Senior Bowl will be an experience that I will never forget."