Florida State Football: Can the Seminoles Repeat Without Departed Super Stars?
The Florida State Seminoles are the best team in college football. Like previous teams that have claimed a National Championship, the Noles are losing plenty of talent as some of their best players are declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft.
One of the most recent departures is wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin was projected as a star from the moment he arrived on campus, but it took him a while to get acclimated. He enjoyed a breakthrough 2013
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin tells ESPN he will enter draft; had game-winning TD in BCS title game
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) January 10, 2014
season, finishing with 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns, including the game-winner in the VIZIO BCS National Championship. Some of his game could still use some refinement, as evidenced by two big drops against Auburn, but his physical skills already peg him as a likely first-rounder. The most likely replacement for Benjamin will be Kermit Whitfield, but it won’t be easy to replace Benjamin’s size and physicality.
Benjamin was not the lone Nole to enter the NFL draft as he was joined by Timmy Jernigan. Entering the season, Jernigan was Florida State’s top-rated underclassman by most draft experts, and that standing never changed. Jernigan was dominant all season, and his impact was never more noticeable than in the national title game.
The replacement for Jernigan could be a number of players as they have tremendous talent on the defensive front. Florida State has five current defensive tackle commitments, so it’s certainly possible one of the incoming freshmen could make a big impact early — as Jernigan did in 2011 — but Nile Lawrence-Stample is the safest bet to step in full time.
Despite losing these players, the Noles recruit very well and they have a bevy of talent returning to the team. Some players have decided that they will return to school, namely key players like running back Karlos Williams Sr., tight end Nick O’Leary, offensive lineman Josue Matias, wide receiver Rashad Greene and offensive lineman Cameron Erving. It is yet to be seen if they can repeat which is a very difficult task in this day and age in college football.
College Football Betting View Point: The Odds to win the 2014-2015 College Football FBS Championship as listed at BetOnline Sportsbook, have the Noles as the favorite to win the Championship with +300 odds. However with so much transition and turnover and other great teams in college football this seems like a very daunting task.