Florida State is coming off a solid season in which it went 10-3 in 2016, including an exciting Orange Bowl victory against Michigan. With big a big departure in Dalvin Cook at running back, the Seminoles season could be very different next year. That being said, I’d say prepare for an even stronger FSU squad in 2017.
Who they lost: Florida State is losing a very good amount of players, one of which being their best player in Cook. The running back was only a junior and with another year of eligibility. The Seminoles would have loved for him to stay. This past season Cook rushed for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns, also to go along with 488 receiving yards. Cook was one of, if not the best running backs in the country the past couple seasons. Although he is the best offensive player the Seminoles are losing, he is not the only talented player from that offense leaving. They’re also losing leading receiver Travis Rudolph, as well as offensive tackle Roderick Johnson. On the defensive side, they will be losing ACC Defensive Player of the Year DeMarcus Walker at defensive end, who ended up with 16 sacks last season. Also a notable loss on defense is Marquez White who had two interceptions.
Who is coming back: With FSU losing some talent, it is still returning some solid players. The Seminoles will return starting quarter back Deondre Francois, who had an absolute stellar freshman year. He will be a major key to the production of the offense this upcoming season. Leading tackler in linebacker Matthew Thomas will be returning as well. Not only was he the leading tackler, he also had 11 sacks. This team is not returning your usual “superstar” name players, but a large amount of solid players that play well together, which makes them a major threat.
Recruiting Class: Florida State made major moves in recruiting, again. The Seminoles signed a top five class. How do you replace Cook at running back? You go out and get the No. 2 rated player in the country in Cam Akers, who has the potential to step into a superstar role right out of the gate. Along with Akers, they were able to haul in six other top 100 recruits.
2017 Schedule: Although early in the season, FSU’s opener could be the biggest game of its season. On Sept. 2 the Seminoles open up against college football’s powerhouse Alabama, at a neutral site. This could be a game between the top two teams in the country. Then on Nov. 11 they visit defending champion Clemson in Death Valley in a game that will go a long way in deciding who will win the ACC Championship.
Projected finish: 10-2
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