By Isaiah Clark @IsaiahPClark on August 2, 2014
The Florida State Seminoles are the reigning national champions. They lost a lot of talent and leadership from last season, but they have reloaded with another group of talented players. Departures cause vacancies and vacancies mean position battles. Check out the key position battles that the Seminoles face before season kicks off.
Terrance Smith is the only returning starter within the linebackers group and will be looked at as the leader of the group. Redshirt freshman Matthew Thomas is the likely candidate to fill the hybrid role left vacant by Christian Jones. Junior Reggie Northrup, sophomore E.J. Levenberry and redshirt sophomore Ukeme Eligwe will be battling it out for playing time. Newcomer Jacob Pugh is another likely candidate to see some significant playing time.
The biggest question mark is without a doubt the wide receiver position. Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw are both gone which means they will need to figure out who will fill those voids. Some names to consider are Kermit Whitfield, Isaiah Jones, Scooter Haggins, Christian Green and incoming freshmen Ermon Lane, Travis Rudolph and Ja’Vonn Harrison. No shortage of talent at receiver, but they lack experience which could hurt them early on.
Massive Timmy Jernigan is gone leaving Junior Eddie Goldman the likely replacement to fill that gap. Other guys like Nile Lawrence-Stample, Desmond Hollin, Keith Bryant and Giorgio Newberry are all likely to see some action, especially with the way Odell Haggins likes to rotate his guys in and out. Also, freshmen Demarcus Christmas and Derrick Nnadi are massive guys who could step in right away.
Karlos Williams is a lock to start at tailback. You have Ryan Green who has the most experience out of the trio of himself, Mario Pender and Dalvin Cook. There may not be a true No. 2 tailback considering Jimbo Fisher loves to split carries with his backs. I don't believe any Noles fan will be disappointed if any of these tailbacks get a chance in the backfield. This may be the most talented position on the team.
The Seminoles shouldn't have anything to worry about with Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston under center. Redshirt sophomore Sean Maguire is the front-runner to replace Winston in case of an injury, but redshirt freshman John Franklin isn't far behind him. He will continue to push the envelope to try and surpass Maguire as the No. 2. Incoming freshman J.J. Constenio is expected to redshirt unless a plague takes out those in front of him.
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