The starting QB will most likely be James Blackman. Blackman has started 13 games as a Seminole posting 24 touchdowns and 2,470 with 12 interceptions. During the off-season he has added 14 pounds and continues to sharpen its leadership skills. Blackman as one of the better deep balls in the ACC and runs the read option more naturally than last years starter Francois.
In the past year FSU brought in 3 transfer quarterbacks: Alex Hornibrook, Jordan Travis and Wyatt Rector. Hornibrook is the clear number two with all the experience from his years at Wisconsin. While playing for the Badgers he threw for 5,438 yards in 32 games. Travis played well in the spring but the NCAA still has yet to accept his transfer waiver to allow him to play.
Running back is one of the deepest position groups on the team even with the departures of Jacques Patrick and Amir Rasul. One of the best all-around backs in college football Cam Akers returns as the starter hoping to return to his freshman season form in which he rushed for 1,024 yards. Behind a makeshift offensive line Akers ran for 4.3 yards per carry, which is a whole yard less than the year before.
Khalan Laborn returns from an injury that kept him out for most of last season. Laborn is an explosive back that has enough power to lower his shoulder. New offensive coordinator Kendall Briles will try to get him on the field as much as possible and hopefully that will include being used at the same time as Akers. The third running back is Anthony Grant who flashed as a return man last season.
Tre’ McKitty’s will return as the starter at tight end. He is very capable of putting up huge numbers but last year he had a number of drops and was unable to find his footing as a blocker. Gabe Nabers and Camren McDonald will be in the rotation as well.
Tamarrion Terry had a breakout 2018 season with 35 catches and 8 touchdowns with 21 yards per reception. He proved to be a home run threat by showing off his athleticism to go along with his 6’3’’ frame. Terry is also working on high pointing the football in order to try to score more TDs in the redzone. Terry will be out for the first two weeks of fall practice due to minor knee surgery.
DJ Matthews looks like he has locked up the slot receiver position but senior Keith Gavin will need to keep improving to fend off the second year receivers from taking his job. Those other receivers include Tre’Shaun Harrison, Warren Thompson, Jordan Young and Ontaria Wilson. The tiny yet elusive Keyshawn Helton will serve as a nice complement to Matthews.
The offensive line was one of the worst in the power 5 last year. Constant penalties, missed assignments and lack of depth reared its ugly head, it seemed like, almost every other play. FSU lost often-injured Landon Dickerson to transfer and Derrick Kelly and Alec Eberle to graduation. The Seminoles brought in four freshman and two transfers to help add to the line depth.
Baveon Johnson will start at the beginning fall camp as a replacement to Eberle. Cole Minshew and Brady Scott played all over the line last year and will probably fit in at their more natural position of guard. Transfer from Northern Illinois Ryan Roberts will take up a tackle spot. Hopefully for Florida State is it is right tackle. If he is at right tackle then that means the talented Jauan Williams has earned the trust of the offensive coaches after his very shaky 2018 campaign to start at left tackle.
Minshew has yet to return from a neck injury and if he is unable to go Mike Arnold will fill in for him for the time being. Talented freshman guard Dontae Lucas could be called upon in the event that Minshew and Arnold are unable to keep their starting position.
They didn’t make the Top 25 preseason rankings – they’re actually ranked 45th.
If they get blown out by #25 Boise State in the opening game Aug. 31 in Jacksonville, there will be more empty seats at Doak this year than last.
There is a bright side: the local hotels may finally stop jacking up their rates for home games, and dump the two-night minimum stays.