Jimbo Fisher is excited for next season.
Heavy rains throughout this past weekend in Tallahassee forced football practice indoors, but the team did not let that put a damper on their preparation for next season. Said their head coach Fisher, “There were some really good things. We know we have a lot of work to do. But not unhappy.”
A quarterback competition once again dominates the discussion surrounding the Seminoles as incumbent junior Sean Maguire had to have ankle surgery stemming from an injury he received playing in the Peach Bowl. Recovery from surgery will require that Maguire sit out the entirety of spring practice, which will culminate in FSU’s Spring Game in Orlando, Florida on April 9th.
Waiting in the wings is redshirt freshman Deondre Francois, who spent his first year on campus watching from afar as a redshirt as transfer Everett Golson and Maguire went back and forth starting games last season. Francois is an elusive dual-threat quarterback who is a 4-star recruit according to 247sports.
A year behind the scenes has given Francois the tips and tricks to the pro-style FSU offense he feels he needs to succeed, and that confidence has been on display in spring practice so far. Fisher said of Francois, “He’s made some really, really nice throws at times today.” For more on sophomore J.J. Consentino and incoming freshman Malik Henry, who are both also in the quarterback competition, check out this excellent comparison piece from the Tallahassee Democrat.
Returning to Florida State in addition to their quarterback controversy is junior running back Dalvin Cook. Cook is the ACC’s all-time leading rusher in yards per game (107.96), beating out now NFL running back Giovanni Bernard, who averaged 107.89 rushing yards per game at the University of North Carolina. Behind Cook is a wealth of young talent, including redshirt junior Ryan Greene and sophomore Jacques Patrick who averaged 5.0 yards per carry on 63 attempts last season.
There is some good news coming out of practice this week about their wide receivers as well, as senior Bobo Wilson was back on the field practicing with his teammates after being sidelined with a broken bone in his foot he suffered during workouts this offseason.
A largely successful and improved defense looks to build upon last year’s momentum as one of the toughest defenses in the country. However, they lost four senior starters in addition to Jalen Ramsey, who will likely be a first round pick in this year’s NFL draft. But a combination of experience and talent will offer the Seminoles another chance to showcase their dominating defense. The Orlando Sentinel has each position on defense broken down and analyzed here.
Kicker Roberto Aguayo became a part of history when he became the first college kicker in 16 years to declare for the NFL draft before his senior season. He joins Sebastian Janikowski, one of the best kickers in NFL history who has enjoyed a long NFL career, as the last kicker to forego their final year of eligibility. Aguayo finishes as the most accurate kicker in the history of college football, having never missed an extra point and nailing nearly 97% of all of his field goal attempts.
How do you replace greatness? With his little brother, of course. Incoming freshman Ricky Aguayo has already enrolled at classes at FSU, begun practicing with the team (he will play in next week’s Spring Game), and preparing to take the starting spot this fall. Even the older Aguayo brother said, “I think he’s a little better than me, accuracy-wise.” Better than the best of all time? Things are looking up at this position for the Seminoles.
Aguayo and Ramsey, both likely high draft picks, are gearing up for FSU’s pro day Tuesday to showcase their talent one more time to NFL teams before the upcoming draft.
All around, the Florida State Seminoles are in a good position to vie for their fifth straight ten-win season under Fisher’s direction.
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All statistics courtesy ESPN.