So far, two Seminoles have been included in the top ten of ESPN’s list of the top ACC players compiled by David Hale.
10. Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker
After racking up 10.5 sacks last year for Florida State’s rejuvenated defense, Walker has blossomed into one of the ACC’s top pass-rushers and one of the Seminoles’ most vocal leaders. He tortured rivals last year (4.5 sacks combined against Miami and Florida), was immensely disruptive in the backfield (15.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles) and he stepped up in coverage, too, breaking up five passes and intercepting one. Walker could’ve left for the NFL after the 2015 season, but he had unfinished business at Florida State, and his decision should make the Seminoles one of the elite defenses in the country in 2016.
8. Florida State tackle Rod Johnson
The Seminoles’ offensive line was not great last year, but Johnson was the steadying force. He has been a starter since his freshman year, plugging a massive hole in the 2014 unit while anchoring last year’s line. His work opened up running room for Dalvin Cook, who set a school record for rushing, en route to Johnson earning All-ACC honors and winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the league's top blocker.
In another ranking from ESPN, the same two players mentioned above are also on ESPN’s list of the top 100 players in college football, with Walker coming in at No. 61 and Johnson coming in at No. 34, bringing the total number of Seminoles so far on the list to four.
In the first Coaches Poll of the 2016 season, FSU comes in at fourth behind Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma.
A new trailer for Showtime’s upcoming A Season With Florida State Football dropped on Wednesday.
Charles Robinson, an NFL writer for Yahoo, shared what he has heard aboiut FSU running back Dalvin Cook from NFL scouts on Twitter.
Speaking of the Florida State running backs, Cook and company were named the fifth-best running back corps in college football in a list created by Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
The Noles have every starter back on their offense from last year, and by far the biggest name of the group is Dalvin Cook, who averaged 141 rushing yards per game, fifth-best in FBS. Cook is a game-breaking talent. He averaged a whopping 11 yards per carry in the first quarter in 2015. If the Noles make a run at the Playoff again, Cook probably will be in the thick of the Heisman race. Behind Cook, the Noles have redshirt junior speedster Ryan Green, a converted DB, and 6-2, 233-pound sophomore Jacques Patrick, a punishing runner who showed his potential when he started in place of Cook against Syracuse and produced 224 all-purpose yards and three TDs.
SB Nation’s Ian Boyd points out some possible ways that Ole Miss could limit Dalvin Cook’s effectiveness in his preview of the season opener for both teams in Orlando. Although Boston College and Houston showed last year that shutting down Cook is a possibility, an improved passing attack for the Seminoles in 2016 will make that a significantly tougher task.
Brendan Sonnone of Noles247 names his five Florida State players who need to make an impact this year or risk losing their spots.
Chris Nee of Noles247 put together a current defensive recruiting board for Florida State based on its commits and targets.
With the Opening Ceremonies formally kicking off the Rio Olympics tonight, here’s a complete list of the athletes who will be representing Florida State in Rio: