Florida State Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher is not afraid to put an underclassman on the field if he thinks that person will give him the best chance to win. All you have to do is look to last season, when redshirt freshman Jameis Winston started the first game of the season, despite the presence of the more experienced Jacob Coker. No incoming freshman is likely to make the kind of impact that Winston did last year, but several should contribute. The Seminoles are the favorites in the ACC again and a strong contender to win the inaugural College Football Playoff, but they do have a few question marks. Their elite group of recruits could help to provide some answers.
Although Florida State has a greater need at wide receiver, RB Dalvin Cook is the most likely freshman to contribute on offense for a couple of reasons. First, Cook was an early-enrollee, so even though he missed spring practice with an injury, he has been around the program for several months now. He is expected to fully recover and should compete for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. The second reason is that running back is a much easier position for a freshman to handle than wide receiver. Cook was also the gem of Florida State’s recruiting class and one of the top running backs in the class of 2014.
Kain Daub could be the most likely freshman contributor on defense, again, in part, because of his early-enrollment. And also like Cook, Daub missed spring practice despite enrolling early. In this case, the NCAA failed to clear him in time. But he has been on campus for several months now, and should still derive some benefit from being around the coaches and the team. Florida State has two other highly-touted linebackers arriving for fall training camp though, in Jacob Pugh and Delvin Purifoy, so Daub will have plenty of competition. He has better size than his incoming competitors though, at 6-foot-3, 234 pounds. Daub was a four-star recruit in 247 Sports’ composite rankings. He chose Florida State over offers from the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Auburn Tigers, most of the SEC, and plenty of other elite programs across the country.