Johnny Manziel, of obvious Texas A&M fame, was the first freshman to win the Heisman. Jameis Winston of Florida State was the second.
Next season, he should be the second to win the Heisman in back to back seasons. The first guy to accomplish winning back to back Heisman Trophies was Archie Griffin back in 1974 and 1975. Those two events were about the only thing that Jameis Winston ever finished in second place.
Florida State has a few key losses from last year’s national champions, but one guy they do have coming back is the guy that just makes things click, Jameis Winston (6-4,230).
Winston threw for 4057 yards in 2013 ran for an additional 219 yards but he didn’t really need to run with that offensive line and Devonta Freeman, James Wilder Jr, and Karlos Williams at RB in 2013.
Last year’s main back up, Jakob Coker, has transferred to Alabama and may even start there next season since he is a graduate and eligible for immediate playing time. The NCAA had to get one thing right, didn’t they?
Sean McGuire (6-3,215) is a talented redshirt sophomore that will be Winston’s primary back up. McGuire threw 21 passes and completed 13 for 116 yards.
John Franklin (6-1,170) redshirted this season and may eventually move to another position but for now he may be the 3rd team guy. He’s not the standard FSU QB body type and could play WR or DB.
4 star incoming freshman JJ Consentino (6-4,210) out of Pittsburgh Central Catholic will likely redshirt. Central Catholic High School of Pittsburgh is the the same school that produced Dan Marino and Marc Bulger. FSU defensive position coach Sal Sunseri played at Central Catholic and possibly that was enough to bring Consentino to FSU.
Consentino has a big time arm, is mobile enough and throws well on the run. I am not comparing Consentino to Dan Marino, but more Hall of Fame QBs came from Western Pennsylvania than any where else in the country.
Winston says he will be back after he is eligible for the NFL draft, but money has a way of changing good intentions. I hope he does come back because I would love to see what Jameis can do with a few years under his belt.
The phrase ‘it factor’ is way over used, but if anyone has ‘it’ it is Jameis Winston. If he were the only returning starter for FSU, they would still be a team to beat.
1,128 yards of the 4000 plus passing total by Winston came from the hands of Rashad Greene (6-0,180). In my mind, Greene is one of those special guys that loves college football and decided to return for his senior year.
Losing Touchdown maker Benjamin here is a big loss with his 6-5 frame leaving for the NFL.
But, WR Christian Green (6-2,200) returns for his senior year and will need to make some strides to improve on his 13 catches a year ago. Also look for a couple of young guys like Isaiah Jones (6-4,200) and Jared Jackson (6-3,185) to step up here.
Sophomore Levonte Whitfield (5-7,180) is super quick and had 5 receptions and also had 3 carries for 110 rushing yards. Jesus Wilson (5-11,170) could be a factor here.
Jarred Haggins (6-0,190) is a talented senior that missed all of last season due to a knee injury.
The nation’s #2 WR recruit, Ermon Lane (6-2,195) could help in a hurry. So could the 6th rated WR recruit in the country Travis Rudolph (6-1,190). Never worry about the WR position at Florida State, because it’s always loaded.
Also returning is one the nation’s premier TEs, Nick O’Leary (6-3,250). O’Leary
had 33 catches a year ago and is a good blocker.
Giorgio Newberry (6-6,280) and Jeremy Kerr (6-5,255) should be the backups here. Kevin Haplea (6-4,245) missed last season with a knee injury, but should be back lookinng for playing time.
Running Back was a deep position for the Noles last year. Losing Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr is a huge blow, but Karlos Williams (6-1,225) can take a lot of slack. Williams hit 730 yards on 8 yards per carry. Not bad. Ryan Green (5-10,190) ran for 163 yards as a true freshman. Freddie Stevenson (6-1,230) had a few carries last year and could provide depth.
Mario Pender (5-10,190) was a highly recruited RB out of high school that redshirted in 2012 and then was ineligible last season. He should be back battling for playing time in 2014 and after watching his highlights I believe he will be dangerous.
Speaking of dangerous, #3 RB recruit from Miami, Dalvin Cook (5-11,195) should help in a hurry. Nobody is a sure thing, but this kid could be a beast. The guy looks like he’s shot out of a cannon.
Again, running back at FSU should never be a problem, they are always deep and talented.
Huge for the Seminoles was the announcement made by LT Cameron Erving (6-6,320) and RG Tre Jackson (6-4,330) that they were returning for their senior years. FSU returns 4 out of 5 OL which was a team strength last season.
Josue Matias (6-6,320) and Bobby Hart (6-4,315) are the other returning starters and they are seniors as well.
Offensive line is, on paper, as good as last year if not better. But, the Noles need Austin Barron (6-3,295) or somebody else to step up at center.
Sterling Lovelady (6-3,290), Ruben Carter (6-4,310), Ryan Hoefield (6-3,290), and Wilson Bell (6-4,315) will provide depth. JC transfers Chad Mavety (6-6,320), and Kareem Are (6-5,310) will bring even more depth. Incoming freshmen Corey Martinez (6-4,310), Roderick Johnson (6-6,320), and Alec Eberle (6-4,275) should get redshirt years.
Battles are still won in the trenches and most of the battle will be won by this bunch early and often.
Offense should be no problem for the Seminoles next season.
Defense, on the other hand, could be a problem early on. But the Noles always have a way of reloading. Last year’s #3 rated defense was stout giving up 268 yards per game. Scoring defense was number one with a miserly 12 points per game scored against these guys.
Gone is Super DT Timmy Jernigan, plus 2 others from the top four DTs in Tallahassee. Defensive tackle is the area of most concern for this team going in.
Losing leading tackler Telvin Smith at LB will also hurt, so will the losses of super CB Lamarcus Joyner and LB Christian Jones and FS Terrance Brooks.
Plus, their defensive coordinator left to go to Georgia and they hired from within the ranks, moving Charles Kelly from LB coach to DC. Hopefully, that works out for the Noles.
What is good, however, is the return of rugged DE Mario Edwards Jr (6-3,290). Plus, young up and comers DeMarcus Walker (6-3,270), and Chris Casher (6-4,260).
Desmond Hollin 6-3,270) a JC transfer a year ago should also provide quality time here.
Lorenzo Featherston (6-7,220) is a 4 star guy out of North Carolina but will need a redshirt to fill out.
DT losses are huge but FSU is FSU and somebody will step up. Eddie Goldman (6-4,305) from our nation’s capital is intense and he played a lot last season. He had a couple of sacks and was hard to move up front.
Derrick Mitchell (6-4,300) played a bit as did Nile Lawrence-Stample (6-1,305). Other options could be Justin Shanks (6-2,305), and Keith Bryant (6-2,310), and possibly 4 star recruit Demarcus Christmas (6-4,290).
One can hardly blame guys like Timmy Jernigan for going for NFL money, but it really hurt the defense and especially early on. But, not to worry Nole fans, this team has plenty of depth at defensive tackle.
Terrence Smith (6-4,220) returns at MLB, and is the only returning starter among the LBs. But, there is some depth in the middle with EJ Levenberry (6-3,235).
Ukeme Eligwe (6-2,240) will have to step up at the SAM position. As will Reggie Northrup (6-1,220) on the Weak side. But, both played a lot last season, and played well. Everybody is still waiting on 5 star backer in 2013, Matthew Thomas (6-3,210), to fulfill his potential.
Ro’Derrick Hoskins (6-3,220) was a highly recruited OLB that redshirted last season.
The Noles had one of the top recruiting classes in the country and they brought in 3 great LBs. #3 rated Kain Daub (6-4,245) and #5OLB Jacob Pugh (6-4,225). They could contribute early as could #6 Delvin Purifoy (6-2,235).
Defensive backfield loses Star Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks. They are big losses, but the Seminoles have a bunch of young talent here as well. Jalen Ramsey (6-1,195) and Ronald Darby (5-11,190) are big time and could help lesson the pain.
Darby will line up at one corner and PJ Williams (6-0,190) at the other.
Nick Waisome (5-11,175) and Marquez White (6-1,170) should be the back ups there. Ramsey is a returner at Free Safety
Keelin Smith (6-3,185) should be Ramsey’s back up.
Tyler Hunter (5-11,200) is a safety that missed last year with a neck injury and is back ready to go, hopefully.That’s kind of a scary situation so I hope they are correct in letting him play again.
Strong Safety should be Nate Andrews (5-11,200).
The Seminoles usually play 5 DBs and often 6 depending on the offense they are going up against so quality depth here is essential.
Colin Blake (6-3,200) and Lamarcus Brutus (6-0,200) are good young players that should provide that quality depth.
FSU always recruits well and they develop their players well. Another great thing about going 13-0 and winning a national championship and you stomp opponents thoroughly into the turf, is that you have the ability to develop depth. Lots of back ups have played and many on defense.
The front 7 may be a small concern for FSU going in, but they do have the talent and they do have the bodies to replace starters. Losing a Timmy jernigan is always a concern and rarely easy to replace but if anyone can do that, FSU can.
Special teams should never have to hear wide left or wide right or wide anything with Roberto Aguayo returning as place kicker.
FSU opens with Oklahoma State at home. OSU will be a good team, but should be a big win for FSU. Clemson was no problem a year ago and the Tigers must go to Tallahassee this season. The Noles also have Notre Dame, Miami and Florida on the schedule. All should be wins for Florida State. Anyone can lose on any given Saturday, but I see the Noles going through this schedule with no problems, or very little problems.
Bobby Bowden obviously built a powerhouse at FSU. That kind of fell off in his last years, but Jimbo has them back on track to dynasty status. As long as Jameis Winston is around, FSU should be a tough out for just about anyone.