NoleGameday

Player Comparisons: Current ‘Noles to Past FSU Greats

Offense

RB- Amir Rasul to Chris Thompson

True freshman running back Amir Rasul is very similar to former ‘Nole and current Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson.  Thompson and Rasul aren’t all that similar as it pertains to their physical makeup; however, their elite speed makes both running backs home run threats every time they touch the ball.  

WR – Auden Tate to Kelvin Benjamin

True sophomore Auden Tate gave fans a lot to be excited about in this year’s spring game in which he garnered 6 catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.  Tate could be the red zone receiver that Florida State has lacked since Kelvin Benjamin left campus in 2013.  Both Tate and Benjamin stand in at 6’5” and Tate has shown a Benjamin-esque ability to go up and get the football, as demonstrated here:

WR – Travis Rudolph to Rashad Greene

Ever since Rudolph stepped on campus, he has been compared to one of the greatest Florida State receivers ever in Rashad Greene.  Like Greene, Rudolph’s polished game allowed him to start as a true freshman.  Rudolph also caught the exact same amount of passes, 38, as Greene did his true freshman season.  Greene and Rudolph’s sophomore campaigns were also all-too-similar, accumulating 57 and 59 catches, respectively.  

TE – Ryan Izzo to Nick O’Leary

I’ll admit, Ryan Izzo and Nick O’Leary aren’t all that similar physically.  As Izzo is taller and O’Leary is more stout.  However, as far as sure handed tight ends go, these two are about as similar as it gets.  I also believe that Izzo will burst onto the scene his junior year, as did O’Leary.  Florida State’s top receiver, Travis Rudolph, seems to agree with me, saying “I feel like he is going to be just as good, if not better, that Nick O’Leary.”

Defense

CB – Levonta Taylor to Greg Reid

Forget that Levonta Taylor and Greg Reid were both the top ranked corner in the nation coming out of high school.  Forget that they are both undersized.  Forget that they are both supremely fast and athletic.  Focus on one thing for this comparison: playmaking ability.  Wherever Levonta Taylor winds up playing this year, you can be sure of one thing, he will make plays.  Greg Reid wasn’t the best cover guy on the team during his years at FSU, but he always made the most plays in the secondary.  They are also very similar in that both are elite punt returning threats.  

CB – Tarvarus McFadden to Xavier Rhodes

Former ‘Nole and first round pick Xavier Rhodes used his length to become the best cover corner in the ACC.  Sophomore Tarvarus McFadden possesses similar length and size which is why he is the front runner to replace the starting spot that Jalen Ramsey vacated.  If McFadden can use his physicality in coverage like Rhodes did, he also has the potential to be a top cover corner in the ACC.

DT – Demarcus Christmas to Timmy Jernigan

Demarcus Christmas excelled in his role as a rotational player last year and is poised for a huge year this year as he has cracked the starting lineup.  He and Jernigan are very similar in their ability to disrupt.  Jernigan was a key piece to the 2013 national championship team, and if FSU wants to make it to the College Football Playoff this year, they will need Christmas to play at a similarly dominant level.

LB – Ro’Derrick Hoskins to Dekoda Watson
Hoskins and Watson are clones physically.  Both stand in at exactly 6’2”, 245 lbs.  I’ll admit Watson was more athletic and had a higher ceiling.  However, Hoskins quietly had 52 tackles last season, two more than Watson had in his sophomore campaign.  Hoskins also had a very strong spring and, unlike last year, is poised to be a starter from game one.

Ryan Stalder
Football Writer and Baseball Writer; Student at Wake Forest University; Twitter: @RyanStalder12

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