I took some heat for backing Florida State last season when they weren’t impressing people as they had in 2013. Jameis Winston struggled most of the season and the Offensive Line, with 4 returning starters did not play well.
The defense had a lot of talent returning but struggled especially against the run.
Obviously, the biggest question for the Florida State Seminoles going into the 2015 season is the Quarterback position and who will replace Jameis Winston.
The only player with any experience at all at Quarterback is sophomore Sean Maguire. Against Clemson, Maguire threw for 304 yards leading the Seminoles to an Overtime win over the Tigers. Clemson had the nation’s best defense in 2014, making Maguire’s yardage look impressive.
According to Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher, Maguire is the current leader for the starting position.
But, there is a long way to go before the Seminoles suit up against Texas State University on September 5th.
Redshirt Freshman J.J. Consentino might be his biggest challenger. But, fellow redshirt freshman John Franklin may have something to say about that. Consentino is from the same high school as Dan Marino and is a prototype Quarterback at 6-4, 235. Franklin is a burner that helped Florida State as a sprinter in Track and Field.
Another option could be true freshman De’Andre Johnson. He enrolled early at Florida State, but it may take some time before he is ready. Johnson is also a dual threat Quarterback and a bit
undersized at 6 foot and 177 pounds.
Florida State has 2 classic drop back passers and 2 dual threat guys that can run like a Running Back.
Not quite as big of a story as losing Winston, but the Seminoles losing 4 starters in the Offensive Line is a pretty big deal. Gone are long term starters Cameron Irving, Josue Matias, Tre Jackson and Bobby Hart.
Guys like that don’t grow on trees, but they have recruited well at Florida State the past few years and they have some potentially great players coming up.
Cameron Irving was the starter at Left Tackle the past few years, but moved inside last season to Center to not only replace an injured starter but to solidify the Offensive Line overall.
True freshman Roderick Johnson stepped in for Irving at Left Tackle and the Seminoles didn’t miss a beat.
At Right Tackle Chad Mavety, a Junior College transfer, figures to take over. Back up Brock Ruble has impressed at RT as well.
The Left Guard should be JC transfer Kareem Are, while the Right Guard should be Wilson Bell.
The Center should be redshirt freshman Alec Eberle. Ryan Hoefield entered Spring as starter but Eberle has outplayed him. Redshirt freshman Corey Martinez is also at Center.
Besides Winston and 4 out of 5 starting Offensive Linemen, the Seminoles also lost outstanding Wide Receiver Rashad Greene and also outstanding Tight End, Nick O’Leary.
Rashad Greene was one of the best Wide Receivers of all time in Tallahassee. But, the Seminoles are still loaded at the Receiver positions. Jesus Wilson and Kermit Whitfield are talented juniors, but sophomores Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane probably even more talented.
But, in the summer the Seminoles add super recruit George Campbell who might be the top Wide Receiver in the country. Wide Receiver will not be a problem for the Seminoles either this season or the seasons to come.
The only experience the Seminoles have at Tight End is Ryan Izzo and he only has 1 reception to his name. Jeremy Kerr and Mavin Saunders are other options here as is incoming freshman Jalen Wilkerson.
Running Back is in good hands with Dalvin Cook returning after breaking the 1,000 yard barrier in 2014. He will be backed up by talented Mario Pender and super incoming freshman Jacques Patrick.
Even if Winston had something of a down season in 2014, he was still good enough to be the very first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Seminoles won’t be quite as good as 2014 on offense, but they still have enough skill and talent to do really well again in 2015. The latest Florida State recruiting class will wind up outshining the much more heralded Alabama recruiting class, in my opinion. There’s just too much talent coming in for the Seminoles.
The Florida State defense is for another post.