5 players to know for spring and beyond

The spring game is Saturday, and everyone is itching to get a small taste of Florida State football. Being away from football for so long, some of you may not know who the rising stars for the Garnet and Gold are. So here are some players you should know for Spring and beyond.

1. LB Josh Brown

Early enrollee linebacker Josh Brown earned a lot of praise from coaches and teammates early in spring ball. Although he enters the 2016 season as a True Freshman, Brown has great instincts in a position of need for the ‘Noles. As a recruit, Brown was listed as an outside linebacker but could easily move inside. If he can gain more weight this offseason (Brown is currently listed at 6’2-206), Brown could have a huge impact on Florida State’s defense.

2. WR George Campbell

A lot of Florida State faithful have been patiently waiting for Campbell to break out on to the scene. Campbell was a five-star athlete coming out of high school with blistering speed to go along with his 6-4 frame. I (along with many others) thought Campbell would break out last year, but the Freshman WR curse got to him. He was an early enrollee last year, and in case you forget had this touchdown in the 2015 spring game:

(gif courtesy of ESPN)

Granted, that was against a secondary scattered with walk-on’s, but the talent is obviously there. He did sit out a Spring practice due to a concussion, so his availability for the spring game Saturday is unknown. But make no mistake, he will have a big impact on the ‘Noles offense next year.

3. K Ricky Aguayo/ P Logan Tyler

I cheated and grouped these two together but the special teams unit is currently going under a complete makeover. Roberto Aguayo will pass down the kicking torch to his little brother Ricky, and Logan Tyler will take over punting duties from Cason Beatty. Florida State hasn’t seen a new face at kicker or punter for three years, but these two true freshmen are ready to take the reigns. Ricky Aguayo looked sharp in spring practices, and Logan Tyler was a highly sought after punter. Hopefully this Aguayo was just as good as the last, and Tyler punts like (Senior version) Beatty.

4. WR Auden Tate

Florida State desperately missed having a reliable red-zone threat last year, and many thought Auden Tate would step up. But asking a True Freshman to become a reliable red-zone threat was perhaps a bit much. To be fair, Tate never seemed to be healthy and was nagged by an injury all year. Now, Tate is healthy and turning some heads at practice. Florida State’s WR corps may be loaded, but Tate is the only one who’s 6’5. Fellow WR Travis Rudolph said Tate has been “…making acrobatic cathes” and has “…good body control”. This is especially good new for the ‘Noles with a question mark at quarterback. Every QB loves to have a tall WR to throw the ball up to. It will be interesting to see if Tate makes any big plays come Saturday.

5. CB Marcus Lewis

This might be a bit of a head-scratcher because he’s not a presumed starter, but hear me out. Lewis has good size for a corner (6-1, 196) and was very involved in the scout team last year. He made an appearance in four games, mostly on special teams. He is very versatile, and can slide into the star position if needed and even played safety in high school. Most importantly, when Senior Marquez White was out with a hand injury in last week’s scrimmage, it was Lewis who took his place. This means that as of now Lewis is the first corner to come off the bench if a starter gets hurt. Lewis could see meaningful minutes at the star position this year, which would set him up nicely to make a run at the starting spot White will vacate next year. Be on the lookout Saturday to see if Lewis is on first team defense or second team.

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