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FSU releases season-opening projected depth chart vs. LSU

Florida State starters and reserves released for season opener

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

The Florida State Seminoles released their first depth chart of the 2023 season on Monday, six days before the season opener against the LSU Tigers. The highly touted, top-ten matchup between the No. 8 Seminoles and No. 6 Tigers will be a primetime showdown at 7:30 PM this Sunday on ABC.

Last year, the two squads faced off an instant classic that saw the Seminoles come out on top in a last-second thriller by way of a blocked extra point.

Some game notes, via FSU Sports Info:

—Florida State enters year four under Mike Norvell ranked No. 8 in the preseason polls, the program’s highest preseason rank since 2017, after doubling its win total from the previous year and finishing 10-3 in 2022.

—FSU is playing in a top-10 season opener for the fourth time in program history and first time since 2017 when No. 3 Florida State faced No. 1 Alabama in the first collegiate game inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. This season’s game is the fifth top-10 season opener nationally in the last 10 seasons, and Florida State is the only program to be involved in two of those contests.

—Florida State is 10-0-2 all-time in Orlando and has won nine straight contests in Orlando since a 17-17 tie with Georgia in the 1984 Citrus Bowl. The Seminoles are 2-0 in season openers played in Orlando, defeating No. 11 Ole Miss 45-34 in 2016 and beating Duke 70-26 in 1995.

—FSU scored at least 35 points in its final six games of 2022, the longest active streak in the nation entering 2023 and the program’s longest 35-point stretch points since the 2013 national championship season.

—The Seminoles return 77 players from the 2022 squad, including 11 all-conference selections and the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. Those players combined to account for 89.2 percent of FSU’s total offense, including 99.5 percent of passing yards and 76.4 percent of rushing yards, and 68.7 percent of its defensive production, including 80.0 percent of tackles for loss, last season.

—FSU also added a top-20 high school recruiting class, with seven true freshmen included on the opening week’s depth chart, and a top-5 group of transfers, including the nation’s highest-rated tight end, offensive tackle, cornerback and defensive lineman in the portal as well as top-five additions at defensive end and wide receiver.

—Florida State’s roster features 78 different players who have combined for 1,584 collegiate appearances and 39 players who have started at least one game combining for 626 collegiate starts.

—The Seminoles’ offensive line is by far the most experienced group in the country as they enter the season with a nation’s-best 307 games played and 214 combined starts, ranking 41 games played and 35 starts ahead of the next-closest team nationally. Nine different offensive lineman have started at least one collegiate game, and seven different offensive lineman on the 2023 squad have made at least 20 college starts.

—Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Travis was the only player in the country to lead his conference in yards per play, yards per pass attempt, yards per completion, pass efficiency rating and fewest interceptions thrown (min. 200 pass attempts) last season.

—Preseason first-team All-American Jared Verse returns as the consensus ACC Defensive Player of the Year favorite. Verse earned the most votes among defensive players on the preseas

According to DraftKings, the Seminoles remain a 2.5-point underdog against the Tigers, with the over/under set at 58.5.

On the depth chart are a few names that were expected — Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Jordan Travis and potential top 10 NFL Draft pick defensive end Jared Verse, for example — but a few Florida State newcomers have earned starting status according to the week’s projected depth chart.

Some of the more notable? At the wide receiver position, Destyn Hill and Winston Wright Jr. have emerged as starters, as well as tight ends Kyle Morlock and Jaheim Bell. Highly touted defensive transfers in defensive lineman Braden Fiske and defensive back Fentrell Cypress II also locked down top spot on the chart, while Keon Coleman has been tabbed as punt returner.

Quarterback: Jordan Travis

Running back: Trey Benson

Running back: Lawrance Toafili

Wide receivers: Johnny Wilson, Destyn Hill, Winston Wright Jr., Keon Coleman

Tight end: Kyle Morlock

Tight end: Jaheim Bell

Left tackle: Robert Scott Jr.

Left guard: Casey Roddick

Center: Maurice Smith

Right guard: D’Mitri Emmanuel

Right tackle: Jeremiah Byers

Defensive end: Jared Verse

Defensive tackle: Braden Fiske

Defensive tackle: Fabien Lovett

Defensive end: Patrick Payton

Linebackers: Kalen DeLoach, Tatum Bethune

Nickel: Jarrian Jones

Cornerback: Fentrell Cypress II, Renardo Green

BUCK: Shyheim Brown

Safety: Akeem Dent

Kick returner: Deuce Spann

Punt returner: Keon Coleman

Kicker: Ryan Fitzgerald

Punter: Alex Mastromanno

Kickoff specialist: Ryan Fitzgerald

Long snapper: James Rosenberry Jr.

Holder: Alex Mastromanno