Florida State Football Predictions

Written by Vegas Top Cappers | July 31, 2013

2013 Florida State Football Predictions

With QB E.J. Manuel now in the NFL, the big question in Tallahassee for 2013 revolves around who will fill his sizable shoes for the Seminoles. The battle appears to be primarily between redshirt freshmen Jameis Winston, Sean Maguire and sophomore Jacob Coker. Winston was a spring standout, and he certainly has all of the skills as well as the intangibles to be a high-profile ACC signal-caller.

The ground game appears to be in capable shape, with returnees Devonta Freeman and James Wilder, Jr. combining for 1,295 yards and 12 TDs last fall, and depth is provided by the usual group of blue-chip recruits. Whoever lines up under center, he’ll have experienced returnees to target, including Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw.

The offensive line is solid, but not blessed with the usual depth that Florida State always seems to have in abundance. Until some of the newcomers and redshirts begin to contribute positively to the rotation, any injuries will have to be monitored closely.

New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was wooed away from Alabama by head coach Jimbo Fisher, and the hope is that he can develop the same type of attacking, fundamentally sound unit that he was a big part of in Tuscaloosa. Creating turnovers, once a hallmark of Seminole defenses, hasn’t been a strength recently, and that’s another factor Fisher is counting on Pruitt to implement. The entire defensive line must be replaced this fall, with the biggest loss being All-American DE Bjoern Werner and his fellow pass rusher Cornelius Carradine, both high draft picks in April. Sophomore Mario Edwards, Jr. looks like a future star at one end, while senior Dan Hicks is expected to line up on the opposite side.

New DTs Demonte McAllister and Timmy Jernigan have both demonstrated excellent toughness and abilities, and they should slide into the rotation effortlessly. As with the O-line, depth along the front is a concern. There’s no such worries among the LBs and secondary, with Telvin Smith and Christian Jones both All-ACC caliber, while all-conference Lamarcus Joyner is transitioning from safety to CB, but should still be a standout.

Other experienced secondary returnees include Terrence Brooks, Karlos Williams and Tyler Hunter. This quartet ranks among the best nation-wide and will terrorize opposing QBs.

All-American PK Dustin Hopkins must be replaced, but Fisher is extremely high on redshirt freshman Roberto Aguayo and expects little or no drop-off in the kicking game. Sophomore Cason Beatty demonstrated last fall that he’s a more than capable punter, excelling in both field position and red zone placement on his kicks.

Jimbo Fisher goes into his fourth season as heir to living legend Bobby Bowden, and the transition has been far smoother than anyone could have expected or predicted. Besides having to replace some key personnel, Fisher also had to recruit six new assistant coaches, leading to a new overall atmosphere on the squad. If Winston or whoever can ably replace Manuel, and the injury bug stays away, Fisher should be a slam-dunk for a double-digit win total and a top-tier bowl invite.

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