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2017 Fierce 40 Previews: #2 Florida State

by DJ Boyer on Aug. 27, 2017

#2 Florida State Seminoles

2016 Recap:
Florida State finished the season on a strong note with an Orange Bowl victory over Michigan leaving them 10-3 with a freshman quarterback leading the way. The ACC dominance may not be what it once was but Florida State looks like they are on the upswing once again.


Coaching:
There were some silly rumors in the offseason about Jimbo Fisher wanting to look elsewhere for a coaching position and anyone with a brain knew it was garbage. Fisher has brought this team back to being near the level the Seminoles were at in the Bobby Bowden heyday and Florida State continues to win their share of recruiting wars in the hotbed of Florida.

 

Offense

The offense no totally belongs to Deondre Francois after what many would call a successful and promising freshman campiagn. Hesiman hype is building around Francois after a season where he threw for over 3,300 yards and 20 TD's. How will Francois acclimate after losing the most consistent offensive weapon the team had in running back Dalvin Cook? Jacques Patrick is now the starter and a different type of runner than Cook. The real story could be incoming freshman Cam Akers who will be pressing for plenty of time himself and could be the offical starter before seasons end.
Expect tight end Ryan Izzo to be the best friend Francois could ask for as the receiving corps will undergo a bit of an overhaul. Thge first game of the year is Alabama and the Seminoles face them with a pair of new starting tackles along the line...talk about a baptism in fire.

Best Draft Prospects: Ryan Izzo TE 3rd Round 2019.

                                       Alec Eberle C 3rd Round 2019.


Defense

The defense will be the straw that stirs the drink for the Seminoles as the team has a number of players along the line that ecel in penertration and seem to live in the backfield. Josh Sweat, Brian Burns and Demarcus Christmas all have All-ACC capabilities and will make tackles for losses look routine. Florida State is much like Alabama when it comes to defensive line rotation and how deep the team is at this position. All three linebackers return but it's the secondary with players like Tarvarus McFadden and Derwin James that could be the best in the country at cornerback and safety respectively. This team should contend with Clemson and NC State for the best overall defense in the conference.

Best Draft Prospects: Tarvarus McFadden CB 1st Round 2018 (Early Declaration Candidate and Potential Top 5 Selection).               

                                       Derwin James S 1st Round 2019 (Early Declaration Candidate).


Special Teams:

The return game will once again highlight what Florida State does on special teams. Derwin James is one of the best return men in the nation and Florida State continues to excel in covering kicks as they were near the top of the ACC in punt and kick return defense in 2016. Ricky Aguayo and Logan Tyler are back at kicker and punter. Both are extremely taleneted but had seasons like yo-yo's wi9th a lot of ups and downs.


Schedule:

The schedule is no joke when you realize you have a neutral field game with Alabama to open the season. Opening the ACC campaign with an improved Miami squad at home is exciting and NC State in week two is also going to be harder than many anticipate. October 21st against Louisville is the game this team has circled after being embarrased and losing by 39 points a season ago.


Draft and Overall Outlook:

The draft prospects on offense are harder to find and Deondre Francois will have to prove he can become a legitimate NFL prospect standing only 6'0". The defensive prospects are eveywhere as Florida State has some positions where backsups have legitimate shots at the NFL. Clemson is unsettled at the offensive skill positions so it seems like the perfect time for Floridfa State to establish themselves as the team to beat in the ACC.

 

DJ Boyer