This is the sixth 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 3 inches, 292 pounds
2013 season: Started one game and appeared in 12
Barron will enter fall camp as the favorite to replace last season’s Remington Award winner Bryan Stark at center. Barron has four career starts at center including one last season. Although he is currently atop the depth chart Barron failed to wow coaches during spring practice. Barron will face competition from incoming freshman Alec Eberle, the lone true center in FSU’s 2014 recruiting class. Incoming guards Karreem Are and Corey Martinez may also push Barron if they can learn the center position.
Ranking: Brandon (26), Ryan (23), Ariya (32)
Year: Redshirt Senior
Ht/Wt: 6 feet, 202 pounds
2013 season: Medical Redshirt
Haggins missed all of last season after fracturing his knee cap during fall camp. He returned in time for spring practice, but a nagging hamstring injury forced him to miss time. Haggins is entering his fifth season at Florida State and is the only receiver other than Rashad Greene with a touchdown grab in his career. If Haggins can stay healthy his experience should make a valuable player in the receiver rotation next season.
Ranking: Brandon (23), Ryan (30), Ariya (25)
Ht/Wt: 5 feet 9 inches, 177 pounds
2013 Season: 3 catches, 23 yards
Wilson is a small quick receiver. He was one of the top performers during spring practice and will enter fall camp as the favorite to replace Kenny Shaw in the slot. In order to win the job he will have to fend off the trio of talented freshmen receivers arriving this summer Wilson is undersized, but his speed makes him a match-up problem for opposing defenses. His strong spring and year of experience should enable him to hold off the competitors from the freshman and Haggins. Wilson also has the ability to contribute as a punt returner.
Ranking: Brandon (27), Ryan (20), Ariya (25)
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 3 inches, 224 pounds
2013 season: 4 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack
Thomas was a key member of FSU’s second team defense last season before undergoing season ending shoulder surgery. He is physical freak and was a consensus 5-star recruit in the class of 2013. Florida State is loaded at linebacker, but Thomas may be the most naturally gifted of them all. He has the size and speed to contribute at any of the three linebacker positions. Thomas spent time working at middle linebacker and as an edge rusher during spring practice and he should compete for a starting role in 2014.
Ranking: Brandon (18), Ryan (35), Ariya (18)
Year: Redshirt Sophomore
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 2 inches, 233 pounds
2013 season: 28 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
Eligwe is one of the Seminoles most poised to have a breakout season in 2014. He is a big physical linebacker and the favorite to replace Christian Jones at edge rusher. Eligwe has the speed to be a dominant player of the edge and provide the pass rush FSU lacked last season. Eligwe played well with the second team defense last season and he carried that over into spring. He was a top performer before a lisfranc injury sidelined him. Eligwe is expected to be back in time to start the season.
Ranking: Brandon (19), Ryan (25), Ariya (27)
Top 50 Players:
By: Brandon O’Connor