Florida State Football: Top 50 Players for 2014 (#5-1)

This is the final 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.


Jameis Winston Florida State#5 Jalen Ramsey

Position: DB
Year: Sophomore
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 1 inch, 198 pounds
2013 season: 49 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT

As a true freshman last season, Ramsey quickly asserted himself as one of the best young defensive backs in the country. He became Florida State’s first freshman corner back to start the season opener since Deion Sanders. Ramsey started the first three games of the season at corner before making the move to safety after Tyler Hunter suffered a season ending neck injury. Ramsey will move back to corner in 2014, where he will replace Lamarcus Joyner in the nickel role. Ramsey should be a destructive force in his new role. The nickel position will allow him to wreak havoc in backfield as a blitzer and help in run protection as well as his normal duties in pass coverage. Ramsey is a big physical corner with sprinter speed and he should emerge as one of the nation’s top defensive backs next season.

Ranking: Brandon(5), Ryan (3), Ariya (6)


Ronald Darby Florida State#4 Ronald Darby

Position: DB
Year: Junior
Ht/Wt: 5 feet 11 inches, 188 pounds
2013 season: 14 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups, 6 passes defended

Darby is the definition of a shutdown corner.  He has world class speed and he uses it to take the opposing team’s top receiver out of the game. His numbers from last season may not jump off the page but that is because quarterbacks typically avoid throwing the ball to his side of the field.  Darby was never fully healthy last season as he recovered from hip surgery. As his body got closer to 100% during the season his performance on the field became increasingly more dominant. Darby is the lynchpin in Florida State’s nation leading pass defense. His ability to take away half of the field in pass coverage makes him one of the top corners in the nation.

Ranking: Brandon(3), Ryan (7), Ariya (3)


Mario Edwards Florida State#3 Mario Edwards Jr.

Position: DE
Year: Junior
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 3 inches, 294 pounds
2013 season: 29 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 INT

Edwards Jr. is Florida State’s top ranked defensive player entering the 2014 season.  His potential finally translated to on field performance in 2013 and he looks poised to become truly dominant in 2014. He excels in run protection, but he drastically improved as a pass runner last season. A freak athlete, he has the ability to beat linemen with strength and speed. Edwards Jr. is a match-up nightmare for offenses and has the ability to play any position along the defensive line. His main position is at defensive end where he can set the edge and force the offense to operate in the middle of the field. Defensive coordinator Charles Kelly is expected to take advantage of Edwards Jr.’s versatility next season and move him throughout the defensive front. Edwards Jr. is poised to take a big step in 2014 and he should prove to be one of the top defensive linemen in the nation.

Ranking: Brandon(2), Ryan (5), Ariya (4)


Rashad Greene Florida State#2 Rashad Greene

Position: WR
Year: Senior
Ht/Wt: 6 feet, 170 pounds
2013 season: 76 catches, 1128 yards, 9 touchdowns

Greene has been Florida State’s leading receiver in each of his three years on the team and he should be once again in 2014. Last season he became the first Florida State receiver to surpass 1000 yards in a season since Anquan Boldin. He is a polished receiver and known for his precise routes. Greene simply doesn’t make mistakes on the field. He is a fast receiver on the outside and beats defenders with his speed and perfect routes. With the departure of Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw, Greene will need to step up even more in 2014.

Ranking: Brandon(4), Ryan (2), Ariya (2)


Jameis_Winston_Seminoles_2014#1 Jameis Winston

Position: QB
Year: Redshirt Sophomore
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 4 inches, 235 pounds
2013 season: 4057 yards, 40 TDs, 10 INT, 66.9 completion percentage; 88 carries, 219 yards, 4 TDs

Winston as the number one player was a no brainer as soon as this list was compiled. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner led Florida State to a 14-0 record and a national championship in his first season as a starter. Winston torched opposing secondaries throughout the 2013 season. He has the ability to make any throw necessary and punishes every mistake the defense makes.  Winston has elite accuracy and can fit the ball into the smallest holes. He is also the unquestioned leader of the team. With Winston under center for at least one more season Florida State will enter 2014 as the favorite to repeat as National Champions.

Ranking: Brandon(1), Ryan (1), Ariya (1)

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By: Brandon O’Connor