This is the ninth article in the series outlining Florida State’s top 50 players for the upcoming 2014 season. The list is a compilation of rankings from Ryan Kelly (V89 Sports), Ariya Massoudi (V89 Sports), and myself.
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 1 inch, 219 pounds
2013 season: 91 carries, 748 yards, 11 TD
Williams started the 2013 season at safety before making the move to running back. His career as a running back started off with a bang when he took his first carry 65 yards for a touchdown. Williams never slowed down from there and he finished the season as Florida State’s second leading rusher. Following the departure of Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr., Williams will enter the 2014 season atop the running back depth chart. He has blazing speed which makes him a true homerun threat out of the backfield. When he can’t beat defenders with his speed, Williams has the strength to run through would be tacklers. He has received pre-season buzz as a Heisman contender and should be one of the top backs in the country next season.
Ranking: Brandon (12), Ryan (11), Ariya (9)
Year: Redshirt Senior
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 6 inches, 302 pounds
2013 season: Started all 14 games at left tackle
Only two years after making the switch from defense to offense, Erving is already one of the top offensive tackles in the nation. Erving is a big athletic tackle who excels in both run and pass protection. He burst onto the scene after shutting down Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, a projected first round pick, during the teams’ match-up. Erving flirted with the idea of entering the NFL draft after last season, but he decided to return for his senior season. His return to the line will be a key factor in Florida State’s bid to repeat as champions as he protects reigning Hesiman winner Jameis Winston’s blindside.
Ranking: Brandon (7), Ryan (18), Ariya (7)
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 4 inches, 339 pounds
2013 season: started 13 games at right guard
Jackson is a mauler in the middle of the offensive line and Florida State’s top returning offensive lineman. He was an all-ACC selection in 2013 and plays with a mean streak that perfectly fits Rick Trickett’s mold for his ideal offensive lineman. Jackson’s decision to come back for 2014 was a coup for Florida State as he is one of the top returning guards in the nation. Jackson and left guard Josue Matias combine to form one of the top guard duos in the country. Their ability to stonewall opposing linemen should allow Florida State’s offense to flourish once again in 2014.
Ranking: Brandon (6), Ryan (15), Ariya (8)
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 4 inches, 314 pounds
2013 season: 19 tackle, 3 tackle for loss, 2 sacks
Although his numbers don’t show it, Goldman was a key member of Florida State’s defensive line in 2013. As a defensive end in Florida State’s 3-4 defense, Goldman’s job was to set the edge. His ability to take on multiple blockers freed up the linebackers to make plays throughout the field. He should see his role increase in 2014 following the departure of all-American nose tackle Timmy Jernigan. In spring practice Goldman worked almost exclusively with the defensive tackles during position drills, but he still took the majority of first-team reps at end. His ability to contribute across the line will enable new defensive coordinator Charles Kelly to interchange personal depending on the situation. Goldman should see an increase in his production next season as his role evolves.
Ranking: Brandon (8), Ryan (6), Ariya (15)
Ht/Wt: 6 feet, 196 pounds
2013 season: 35 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 3 int, 7 break-ups, 10 passes defended
Williams is one of the top corners in the country entering 2014. Williams was beat out for a starting position before last season, but he moved into the top spot following Tyler Hunter’s season ending injury and Jalen Ramsey’s move to safety. He blossomed in the expanded role and finished the season as the defensive MVP in the National Championship game. Williams is a big physical corner who perfectly fits the new mold for the position. He is excellent in coverage and his size also enabled him to help as a run stopper. With another year of experience Williams projects as a first round pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Ranking: Brandon (9), Ryan (9), Ariya (5)
Top 50 Players:
By: Brandon O’Connor