Seminoles Will Be a Work in Progress in 2020

By  //  February 23, 2020

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The Florida State Seminoles face a long way back to the summit after another season of underachievement.

The Florida State Seminoles face a long way back to the summit after another season of underachievement.

The team finished with a losing record for the second year on the bounce, which resulted in the departure of head coach Willie Taggett during the campaign.

Odell Haggins oversaw last-season wins over Boston College and Alabama State. However, the term ended with a defeat in the Sun Bowl at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Mike Norvell has been tasked with reversing the fortunes of the Seminoles, having impressed during a four-season run with the Memphis Tigers. Florida State is now six years removed from their last National Championship during the tenure of Jimbo Fisher and quarterback Jameis Winston.

The current roster does not look primed for a challenge to go all the way, while even the notion of making a surge up the ACC appears to be beyond the Seminoles in 2020.

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It could be perfect timing for Norvell’s second season in charge, although the first may have to be a grind given the lack of depth on the unit, and losing key players to the NFL Draft.

Cam Akers was Florida State’s shining light season from the backfield. The running back rushed for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns along with 225 receiving yards and another four scores.

After three successful seasons with the Seminoles, Akers declared for the draft and could be selected between the third and fourth rounds, earning comparisons to the Houston Texans’ Duke Johnson on

Deonte Sheffield and Treshaun Ward will be the next men up trying to replace his impact on the field. However, it will be easier said than done as both players had minimal roles in the last campaign.

The development of James Blackman will be a crucial factor for the Seminoles. Blackman stepped up into the starting role in 2019 after Deondre Francis was removed from the program in the off-season.

The 21-year-old was solid without being spectacular, although he did come under fire for the standard of his performance in the Sun Bowl against the Sun Devils.

Blackman had a game to forget in the contest, throwing four interceptions. Norvell has been credited being one of the most creative offensive minds in the college game. It will be up to him to try to get the best out of Blackman otherwise the Seminoles will be going nowhere next season.

Hamsah Nasirildeen has provided a boost to Florida State’s defense by remaining with the team for the 2020 campaign. The defensive back notched 101 tackles, two interceptions and one sack last term.

He suffered an injury that knocked him out of the Sun Bowl, with the Seminoles missing his presence on the field. Nasirildeen, Emmett Rice, Leonard Warner III, Asante Samuel Jr and Janarius Robinson will be the key cogs for Norvell’s men under new defensive coordinator Adam Fuller after he followed Norvell to Florida.

There’s unlikely to be an immediate revival under the new regime, but the 2020 season will be an important term to put the building blocks in place for future success.