The Florida State Seminoles return to spring practice this week with their first week completed since a hiatus for spring break. The Seminoles were 10-3 last season and 8-3 in the conference. They were third in the Atlantic division of the ACC.
Filling the Running Back Gap
The Seminoles have their quarterback in set with Deondre Francois, the dual threat QB who was the starter last season. However, the ‘Noles biggest departure was with running back Dalvin Cook’s decision to enter the NFL draft. Cook broke records last season with rushing over 5,402 total yards and 48 touchdowns.
However, the Seminoles do have several returners at this position with redshirt senior Ryan Green, redshirt junior Johnathan Vickers, junior Jacques Patrick, and sophomore Amir Rasul. A huge addition to this group though is Cam Akers, a freshman early enrollee.
Akers was a five star and the number one ranked recruit at running back. Akers also practiced kick off returns. He’s the highest prospect that FSU has ever signed. “He’s learning, you see the flashes when he runs and catches, he’s very natural,” head Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher said about Akers.
— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) March 23, 2017
Other newcomers to the Seminole roster include four-star QB Bailey Hockman, three-star tight end Tre’ McKitty, four-star safety Cyrus Fagan, and junior college transfer Adonis Thomas.
Returners to the Roster
The Seminoles will return 15 of 22 starters this season on both offense and defense. Not included in that number though is Derwin James. James missed the final 11 games of the season due to a knee injury. It could be the redshirt freshman’s final season as a Seminole. In his true freshman year he was second on the team in tackles, tackles for sacks, and loss.
He is already recovered from his injury, and will be available to participate in the spring.
FSU also has several other quality returners in other positions which include James (DB), Brian Burns (DE), Derrick Nnadi (DT), Tavarus McFadden (DB), Josh Sweat (DE), and Nyqwan Murray (WR).
Freshman defensive end Joshua Kaindoh returned to practice for the first time since his injury to his hamstring from the first day of spring practice on March 6.
However, injuries did keep several Seminoles out of practice this week. These players include cornerback Tavarus McFadden (shoulder), offensive linemen Landon Dickerson (knee), Alec Aberle (hip), receiver Keith Gavin (ankle), safety Marcus Lewis, and safety Ermon Lane (foot).
Overall Fisher still sees some room for improvement.
The Seminoles have a practice scrimmage on Monday, but the Garnet and Gold game is coming closer and closer. The spring game is set for 3 PM on April 8th.