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Florida State football, recruiting news: Who is FSU's wild card in 2016?

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Football

- David Hale of ESPN lists the five wild cards in the ACC Atlantic Division race in 2016. Hale's list includes one Seminole who is returning to the team. after a lengthy absence.

Florida State linebacker Matthew Thomas

To say Thomas has had a turbulent tenure in Tallahassee, Florida, would be an understatement. Even before he officially arrived on campus, he was a controversial subject, and the former five-star recruit has hardly seen the field since. Now, however, Thomas appears ready to grab a starting job in a linebacking corps that desperately needs a star to emerge. Is he a late-bloomer or a full-fledged bust? The 2016 season will likely tell the story. (*Note: Yes, FSU QB Deondre Francois certainly belongs on this list, too, but we tried to limit it to one player per team.)

- FSU is among the teams with the most appearances in the AP Top 25 in the last 20 years.

- More from ESPN as Andrea Adelson points out the different places in which the big three programs in the state of Florida enter the 2016 season.

- Jim Henry, sports editor of the Tallahassee Democrat, sat down with a project manager for the new Champions Club in Doak Campbell Stadium to check on the progress of the renovations.

"I think we have about every trade that is working on this project on site at the same time," Jason Gassett, project manager at Childers Construction Company, said Tuesday morning. "Right now, I don’t see anything that can keep us from finishing."

- Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post asked Joel Rodriguez, a member of Miami's 2001 championship team, how far away the current Hurricanes squad is from returning to championship caliber.

"How far are we from having a roster of 85 guys, with 65 about which you can say, ‘We’re going to play winning football in the ACC with these guys?’ We’re probably a couple years away still," he said. "You’ve got young guys you’ve got to develop, you’ve got guys you need to bring in still. Right now, all of our receivers are going to play next year, because the numbers tell you that. Whereas in the past, in 2001 and those days, you had to be a really, really, really special player to play early on, wherever you were playing position-wise.

"In terms of that type of depth, we’re probably still a couple years away. In terms of the talent of the front-line guys, I don’t think we’re that far off at all, to be honest with you. I mean, Stacy Coley compared to Andre Johnson, they’re both phenomenal talents. Quan Muhammad compared to Jerome McDougal, they’re both phenomenal talents. Our front-line guys at every position are probably very similar to the ones from those quote-unquote glory years, or whatever you want to call it."

Recruiting

- The immediate eligibility of Keion Joyner, a linebacker signee in Florida State's 2016 recruiting class, has been called into question after a recent interview with 247Sports' Josh Newberg. ($)

Much like his recruitment, Joyner wasn’t completely clear on if/when he’ll arrive at FSU.

"I’m still waiting for the semester to be over," Joyner said of his eligibility status. When asked if he knew when he’d enroll, Joyner replied, "I could not tell you at this moment."

NFL

- When the NFL Pro Bowl returns to nearby Orlando in 2017, it will do so with the classic AFC/NFC matchups which it is known for, forgoing the coach-selected team format we have seen each of the last two seasons. After two former Seminoles competed in last year's Pro Bowl in Hawaii, more Florida State alums, including 2016 top-five pick Jalen Ramsey, will look to join the ranks next January.

Other Sports

- Our own Andrew Miller provides a look at each of Florida State baseball's potential opponents in this weekend's Tallahassee Regional.

- In ESPN's Joe Lunardi's latest bracketology, which was released on Wednesday, the FSU basketball team is included in the field as one of the final four teams to avoid the play-in games, coming in as a 10 seed matched up with 7-seed UConn.