Best Florida State Offensive Player
RB Cam Akers, Soph.
Last year’s super-recruit didn’t quite blow up, but considering all of the team’s issues, 1,025 yards and seven touchdowns was a terrific debut. The 5-11, 213-pounder has good hands, decent power, and phenomenal quickness, tearing off 199 yards and two scores against Syracuse and hitting Miami for a 121-yard day.
He won’t have to do it all with 235-pound Jacques Patrick ready to handle a bulk of the load, but with better blocking, get ready for a massive year.
2. RB Jacques Patrick, Sr.
3. C Alec Eberle, Sr.
4. QB Deondre Francois, Jr.
5. QB James Blackman, Soph.
Best Florida State Defensive Player
DE Brian Burns, Jr.
After exploding for 9.5 sacks as a freshman, he was expected to play at an unstoppable, All-American level – and he didn’t. He was fine – making 48 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss – but he didn’t rip it up. Get ready for the big season to kick in now, with a little bit of added bulk and the look of a guy destined for double-digit sacks – and a salary drive.
Phenomenally quick, the 6-5, 231-pounder is long, has a great first step, and could grow into the sort of hybrid type who makes a whole lot of money at the next level. But he has to produce on a consistent basis first.
2. DT Demarcus Christmas, Sr.
3. CB Levonta Taylor, Jr.
4. S A.J. Westbrook, Sr.
5. S Jaiden Woodbey, Fr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Deondre Francois, Jr.
Or James Blackman. The entire offensive line is actually the key to FSU’s season – it has to be far, far stronger – but the Noles need high-end quarterback play, too.
It’s been forgotten a bit in everything that’s happened on and off the field over the last year how good Francois was as a freshman, throwing for 3,350 yards and 20 scores with just seven picks. Blackman was fine, but he threw for over 1,000-fewer yards and didn’t offer anything running the ball like Francois can – when he’s healthy.
It’ll be an interesting fall camp.
Key Game To The Florida State Season
Virginia Tech, Sept. 3
It seems like these should have played each other more, but they haven’t met since 2012. Before that, they hadn’t battled all that often after the 2000 Sugar Bowl for the national title.
This year, it’s the season opener and more than just a tone-setter as it kicks off the ACC race. Considering how it crumbled after last year’s opening day loss to Alabama, FSU needs this.
With the schedule it has ahead, forget about any CFP dreams with a loss to the Hokies.
2017 Florida State Fun Stats
– Sacks: Opponents 32 for 218 yards – FSU 29 for 157 yards
– 3rd Quarter Scoring: Opponents 82 – FSU 50
– Penalties: FSU 78 for 699 yards – Opponents 60 for 510 yards