5 Impact Players for FSU Football in 2018

Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire

After the 2017 football season came to a conclusion a great deal of Nole fans were left in a state of uncertainty with the culture and program of Florida State Football. With the hiring of Head Coach, Willie Taggart came a sense of rejoicement to both the players and the FSU fan base as well. Now with that being said, this upcoming 2018 season will be tremendous for the platform of this program. Coach Taggart and his staff are inheriting a team that is losing 17 players from both sides of the ball; 13 in which have started at some point in their career. Therefore, it will be interesting to see who matures and who steps into the bigger role as we begin this new era in Tallahassee. Here are five players that I believe will make a substantial impact in 2018.

WR: DJ Matthews
After seeing limited playing time during his freshman campaign; the young receiver should play a much bigger role in Taggart’s “West Coast Offense”. Matthews at 5’11 170 has arguably the best hands and footwork on the 2018 roster, and getting him into open space (as should be expected in Taggart’s offense) will be a crucial factor for gaining big yardage downfield. I expect him to frequently be in the mix of wideouts as him and incoming freshman Treshaun Harrison could bring a well-needed spark plus depth to a receiving core that was depleted in 2017. Also do not be surprised if Coach Alonzo Hampton keeps him on special teams as a punt returner in 2018 as he gained a majority of the reps towards the end of last year.

DT Marvin Wilson
Okay look, we all know losing DT Derek Nnadi to the draft is not a good thing going into 2018, but it could’ve been a lot worse. Thus being said all it took was one good meal of the notorious honey fried chicken and FSU landed the 5 star Texas native in 2017. Just imagine replacing the former DT Nnadi with a 6’4 330 pound more athletic version of himself. And on top of the freak athlete Wilson is; he already has above average hand technique and is a sponge of the game under Coach Odell Haggins.

WLB Leonard Warner
FSU’s situation at linebacker is not by any means where DC Harlon Barnett would want it to be since departing from Michigan State for FSU. Therefore; 2018 would be a great year for Warner to see significant playing time. The WLB brings a next level of physicality and leadership (by example) that was prominently absent from the LB core over the past few years. I’m assuming Coach Woodie will use his physicality to their advantage and have Warner and Dontavious Jackson mix reps at MLB as well. Which if he matures could give FSU a “Roquan Smith” type of sideline to sideline LB which is highly sought after by NFL scouts in the present day.

K Logan Tyler
To a lot of people, this may be a surprise. Logan Tyler was a highly touted recruit out of high school and who took over kickoffs and punts his freshman year under Jimbo Fisher. Tyler made noticeable improvements from his freshman campaign in 2017, but still has room for improvement going into his junior season. The 3rd year kicker has probably the strongest leg to come through FSU since Sebastian Janikowski, and more consistency could possibly take him and the Noles to the next level. Therefore, if he continues to improve we could see more preferable special teams & defensive play which in previous years was at times costly for the Noles.

DB Levonta Taylor
Coming out of high school, Levonta Taylor was a 5-star recruit from Virginia who a lot said was going to be the next “Prime Time”. Well, we can all say he is not the next Deion Sanders, but he should be the number one DB as well as the leader of Nole’s secondary unit in 2018. Last year Levonta had a breakout season while going under the radar yielding him to lead all Power Five Db’s in passer rating when targeted and yards per cover. With the departure of Derwin James and Tarvarus McFadden; the junior will be heavily needed to anchor down a rather young but talented FSU secondary. In which doing so could play a vital factor in getting the offense its goal of 70-80 snaps per game.

Blake Hudgins
Just an avid 19 year old fan of all things Florida State; current football and baseball writer for NoleGameday.

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