Sep 28, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles tight end Mike Naples (89) celebrates as tight end Jake Sinkovec (left) scores a touchdown against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
(1) STG: … FSU can’t possibly top their 2013 season, but is there optimism that they can match it?
Visser: It’s not so much optimism among ‘Noles fans as it is expectation. This team returns, in addition to the aforementioned Winston, probably the top OL in the country, featuring four returning starters, led by Cam Erving, who could be the top LT taken in the 2015 NFL Draft.
5-star safety Karlos Williams was converted to RB last year, and served as FSU’s third-string back—even though many, including me, thought he was the best of the bunch. This year he’ll be the feature back, and he presents a rare blend of size and speed. He could – should – be straight-up scary behind that line.
Senior WR Rashad Greene will lead the receiving corps, and he could very well exit as the Seminoles’ career leader in catches, receiving yards, and receiving TDs.
TE Nick O’Leary is probably the best in the country, as is K Roberto Aguayo (who won the Groza Award last year as a freshman), and KR Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield, who led the nation in KR average, including two for TDs (one in the fourth quarter of the BCS title game win over Auburn).
Defensively, the Florida State secondary is probably the best in the land, led by CBs P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby, who will probably be first-round picks if they leave after the 2014 campaign, which many expect them to do.
But there are holes. The OL depth is untested, and the LB and DL groups will feature new starters as well. DE Mario Edwards, Jr. could be the first ‘Nole drafted in 2015, but his counterpart, Chris Casher has something to prove. And, oh yeah—the punting game is suspect.
The biggest loss, however, is leadership: LB Telvin Smith and CB Lamarcus Joyner are both in the NFL, and they were vocal presences in the FSU locker room.
Those aren’t typos: the ‘Noles really could have a handful of first-round picks in the 2015 draft, so the real talent drop-off will probably be seen more in the 2015 season. Overall, the schedule sets up well for FSU also, as it gets Clemson, Notre Dame, and Florida in Tallahassee. There are many who think this team actually may be better than 2014’s.