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Fall Depth Chart Projections: Offense

Fall camp is right around the corner for Florida State and first-year head coach Mike Norvell. The program has gone through a series of changes over the offseason and it’s almost time to put those changes to the test. That will start on offense, where the Seminoles were extremely inconsistent a season ago.

Multiple starters from 2019 are back but a lot of new faces have joined the fold as well. The chemistry of the offensive staff in 2019 was a point of concern but that’s one area that should be totally different. Norvell and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham have a great relationship and rely on each other to call the right plays. Norvell also added a rising star in the coaching ranks in offensive line coach Alex Atkins, a savvy veteran in running backs coach David Johnson, and an underrated, experienced tight ends coach in Chris Thomsen.

We take a look at the top returners and newcomers with our projections on where they’ll slide into the depth chart. This list will likely change throughout fall camp.

Quarterback:

1. James Blackman

2. Chubba Purdy

3. Tate Rodemaker/Jordan Travis

Redshirt junior quarterback James Blackman is expected to open up camp as the starter, giving him a chance to lock the job down with true freshman Chubba Purdy right on his heels. If Blackman’s play costs FSU a few games early in the season, don’t be surprised to see Norvell give the signal-caller of the future an early entrance.

Early enrollee Tate Rodemaker will likely redshirt while Jordan Travis will battle with Purdy for the backup spot. Travis still has a long way to go to prove that he can eventually be a starting college quarterback but he could be useful in the Wildcat role we saw him have some success in late in 2019. There’s no doubt he has a pair of wheels, look at what he did in Boston.

Running Back:

1. Jashaun Corbin

2. Khalan Laborn

3. La’Damian Webb/Lawrance Toafili

With Akers moving on and Anthony Grant electing to leave the program, the Seminoles will have a much different look at running back than a season ago. Texas A&M transfer Jashaun Corbin, now fully healthy after a hamstring injury, slides into the starting spot with his mix of speed and power. Former five-star prospect Khalan Laborn has flashed sporadically during his time in garnet and gold while dealing with multiple knee injuries. If he can stay healthy, the Virginia native will be in line for a fair amount of carries.

JUCO signee La’Damian Webb and true freshman Lawrance Toafili should also be involved in the rotation. Webb accumulated over 1,000 total yards and ten rushing touchdowns last season in Junior College. He’s a strong runner who doesn’t go down easy. Ja’Khi Douglas and Corey Wren could both see some carries in situational roles, they also might contribute out wide.

Full Back:

1. DJ Lundy

2. Marvin Wilson/Robert Cooper

The full back position is back in Tallahassee with Norvell’s offensive scheme but no one on Florida State’s roster is currently listed at the position. During his time at Memphis, Norvell rotated different players at full back depending on the situation and we don’t expect that mantra to be any different in 2020. True freshman linebacker DJ Lundy had a productive career at running back in high school and won back-to-back-to-back wrestling state championships in the heavyweight division. He understands the importance of leverage and at 6-foot-1, 244-pounds, has the size to open up holes in the running game. Wyatt Rector could possibly get a shot here as well.

In short-yardage situations or at the goal line, Norvell likes to have a massive blocker lined up in front of his running back. Two ‘Noles who fit the bill are Marvin Wilson or Robert Cooper.

Tight End:

1. Jordan Wilson

2. Cam McDonald

3. Wyatt Rector/Carter Boatwright

FSU added UCLA grad-transfer Jordan Wilson earlier this offseason and with his mix of blocking and experience, he’ll likely be the starter. Rising junior Cam McDonald is set for a solid season after making 24 appearances over the first two seasons of his career. McDonald is extremely athletic and has added almost 20 pounds to his frame since stepping on campus. The California native will see plenty of snaps as Norvell loves to use two tight end sets.

Converted quarterback Wyatt Rector is also expected to play a role at tight end due to his physicality. Rector impressed the coaching staff during the few spring practices the ‘Noles were actually able to have. Carter Boatwright enrolled early and participated in offseason conditioning as well as spring practice. He’ll contribute in a reserve role and is another player that brings a mauler mentality.

Markeston Douglas will likely redshirt while he continues to develop but the future is bright for him.

Wide Receiver

1. Tamorrion Terry

2. Warren Thompson

The star of the offense is back for his redshirt junior season after bulking up over the offseason. Tamorrion Terry is on the cusp of being a complete receiver and Norvell’s offensive genius may be the key to unlocking his potential. After recording nearly 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019, Terry is primed to be one of the top players in college football during the upcoming season.

Right behind him is another vertical threat in redshirt sophomore Warren Thompson, who made a few big grabs against Boise State last year. Thompson dealt with some maturity issues throughout the season but it looks like he’s fully focused again with the new coaching staff taking over. He’s another guy that has the attributes to be great if he can be under control mentally.

Wide Receiver

1. D.J. Matthews

2. Keyshawn Helton

Rising senior D.J. Matthews will likely get the first look at the starting slot position after starting 15 games over the last two years. He’s been inconsistent over his career but has made a few impressive plays at both receiver and in the return game. If he struggles, a fully recovered Keyshawn Helton, who was beginning to come on strong prior to a leg injury against Clemson, will be right behind him pushing for snaps. Helton added some extra muscle to his frame over the offseason and is one of the hardest workers on the team. He’s shown that his speed can make him a reliable down-field threat.

Wide Receiver

1. Ontaria Wilson

2. Jordan Young

A guy I pegged as one of the three offensive players flying under the radar heading into fall camp is redshirt junior wide receiver Ontaria Wilson. The south Georgia native is one of the top route-runners on the roster and began to show some flashes last season before a shoulder injury against Wake Forest knocked him out until the Sun Bowl. I can’t imagine how it would feel for Wilson to start alongside Terry, his high school teammate and fellow #Tribe17 member, once again. He’s another guy with track speed.

Young is a guy who should finally be able to break into the rotation this season with his potential to be a playmaker. Bryan Robinson is a talented true freshman who could become a factor after going through offseason conditioning.

Left Tackle:

1. Darius Washington

2. Jalen Goss

Washington made three starts in 2019 and performed admirably compared to some of the other offensive linemen on the roster. He displayed a level of physicality that some simply don’t possess. He needs to continue honing in on his footwork but he should be a guy whose play improves throughout the year.

Goss and Jay Williams will battle it out for the backup spot. Goss needs to continue adding weight and developing his frame before he can be considered a viable starting option while Williams didn’t make an appearance in a game last season after coming in from Junior College.

Left Guard:

1. Dontae Lucas

2. Maurice Smith

Highly touted offensive guard Dontae Lucas early enrolled in 2019 and made the most of the opportunity, starting seven games as a true freshman. He should be the best offensive lineman amongst the group after his recovery from an ankle injury over the offseason. Lucas and Washington make for one of the better left sides FSU has fielded in recent years.

Smith also made a few starts last year and showed some promise. He could see backup reps at guard but he also has the ability to play center, which may be his position in the future.

Center:

1. Baveon Johnson

2. Andrew Boselli

Johnson started in all 11 games he appeared in a season ago and had his fair share ups and downs. His snapping inconsistencies are certainly an issue that needs to be addressed by the new staff. Luckily, Atkins is a technician and the little things are exactly what he’ll be focusing on fixing. Boselli should be a solid backup option. Look for Smith to get some reps here because FSU is going to need to find its center of the future with Johnson and Boselli set to move on following the 2020 season.

Right Guard:

1. Brady Scott

2. Ira Henry

Brady Scott has contributed at multiple positions on the offensive line throughout his career but his best fit may be at guard. Regardless, Scott and FIU grad-transfer Devontay Love-Taylor are can be considered interchangeable at either position on the right side. It’ll depend on how things go in camp. Henry is a developing option with a lot of tools to like.

Right Tackle:

1. Devontay Love-Taylor

2. Chaz Neal

We’ll slot Love-Taylor in at right tackle for now, considering that’s the position he played with FIU last season. Love-Taylor is presumably expected to provide similar contributions as that of Ryan Roberts in 2019. He’s a dependable option but not an elite one. Redshirt sophomore Chaz Neal also made our three offensive players flying under the radar heading into fall camp. Neal has completely changed his body since arriving in Tallahassee and now has a chance to be developed under Atkins. Expect him to contribute off the bench with the potential to earn a full-time starting role in 2021.


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