Looking Towards the Future: Who are the Leaders?

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Florida State and losing seasons don’t come around often, but this year we are almost certainly bound to see it. With only two games remaining on the schedule, the ‘Noles would have to defeat Boston College and Florida, which doesn’t seem too likely at this point. For those of you who haven’t already, it is time to look to the future and speculate on who can be the leaders for the 2019 season. A youth movement is needed to accelerate the culture change that the program has been longing for. Here are some potential playmakers ‘Nole fans can look forward to leading the team next year:

James Blackman:

There may not be a better leader on the team than James Blackman. He is a true leader and it is obvious that the team feeds off of his energy whenever #1 takes the field. With Taggart announcing that Francois will be the starter for the final two games of the season, Blackman will be receiving a redshirt for another year of eligibility. If Sam Howell is not ready to start for his true freshman season, I look forward to Blackman taking the reins of the offense and building off his fantastic performance in his only start this year.

Marvin Wilson:

This season has been filled with disappointment but one bright point has been Marvin Wilson. He has elevated his game to another level and has been impossible to block at times this year. One of the most impressive things about Wilson is his work ethic. There have been many times this year where he was one of the only players on the defense that maintained a high level of intensity in every game he has played. Next year we can look forward to Wilson putting up bigger numbers and leading the defensive line unit.

Stanford Samuels III:

Sophomore Stanford Samuels III has been the most consistent defensive back on the roster this year. Whether he is lined up at safety or corner, he utilizes his size, physicality, and technique to his advantage. With commitments Nick Cross and Brendan Gant, we may see SS3 at corner more predominately next year. Kyle Meyers, Levonta Taylor, Asante Samuel Jr., and Anthony Lytton have been picked on at multiple points this year due to their size. Samuels III will offer the ‘Noles a better option at defending taller wide receivers in the red zone.

I believe the 2019 edition of the ‘Noles will look much different compared to the past couple of years. Many of the upperclassmen have had their fair share of highs and lows in Tallahassee, but it’s time to move on. Nyqwan Murray, Jacques Patrick, A.J. Westbrook, Wally Aime, and Demarcus Christmas are just a handful of the faces we will not see next year. There will definitely be more to follow due to declaring for the draft, transferring, attrition, etc. It is now time for the Freshman and Sophomores to step up and get Florida State back on track to the national powerhouse it once was. I have confidence that the players listed above along with many more of the younger guys can turn Florida State around.

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