Much has been written about the Florida State Seminoles since they dismantled the Clemson Tigers 51-14 last Saturday night. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has received the lions’ share of the attention from the media, and he deserves it.
However, a major strength of this Florida State team that hasn’t been mentioned very frequently is their incredible depth.
Outside of their offensive line (and who has OL depth?), the Noles have depth everywhere.
Most teams can’t afford to lose a top-flight running back, but that’s what has happened with the Noles as James Wilder Jr. has battled a bad shoulder and now a concussion. The de facto starter, Devonta Freeman, has been outstanding, but teams in college football today have to rotate backs to keep them fresh.
Enter converted safety Karlos Williams. The junior made the switch from defense to offense early in the season and is now getting reps as Wilder Jr. heals. He earned several snaps in the second half on Saturday. Once he becomes comfortable in the offense, he could be a legitimate threat. In fact, all three FSU running backs likely have a future at the next level.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Noles are extremely deep on the back end. When safety Tyler Hunter was lost for the year, they switched freshman corner Jalen Ramsey to safety and haven’t missed a beat. As a result, P.J. Williams has had to play more corner, and he’s been tremendous. Ronald Darby was expected to start and play significant minutes but has been relegated to the nickel and dime packages because of their depth.
Others, like defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel, and defensive ends Chris Casher and Demonte McAllister would start for a number of teams in the country, but serve as subs for the Noles.
There’s a lot to like about this Florida State team, but depth could be the secret to their success. Because of that depth, coaches can rotate players, come up with specific packages that feature their skill sets, and keep opponents guessing. As the season wears on, teams depth is always tested.
There might not be a team with more depth than Florida State.