Over the next week I will be posting a series of articles listing FSU’s top 50 players for the 2014 football season. The list is a compilation of rankings from Ryan Kelly (V89 Sports), Ariya Massoudi (V89 Sports), and myself.
Year: Redshirt Senior
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 4 inches, 246 pounds
2013 Season: Medical Redshirt
Haplea missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL during the summer. He returned in time for spring practice though and will be looking to contribute as the number two tight end in 2014. FSU did not utilize many two tight end sets last season, but Haplea’s return provides the Seminoles with valuable depth that they lacked during their championship run. He transferred to FSU from Penn State prior to the 2012 season. He caught three passes for 15 yards and a touchdown during his first year at FSU before missing last season. His biggest impact on the team will be as a run blocker and on special teams, but if he can return fully healthy it will be a big boost for FSU’s depth chart.
Ranking: Brandon (49), Ryan (33), Ariya (Unranked)
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 4 inches, 236 pounds
2013 season: In High School
Pugh comes to Florida State as one of the top members of the Seminole’s 2014 recruiting class. A local product from nearby Godby High, Pugh was a four-star recruit on Rivals.Com and the number seven outside linebacker in the nation. FSU’s plethora of talent at linebacker may limit Pugh’s immediate impact, but he has the necessary skills to break into the rotation and at the very least contribute on special teams. With his size Pugh projects to the hybrid outside linebacker/edge rusher role that Christian Jones filled last season.
Ranking: Brandon (Unranked), Ryan (43), Ariya (38)
Year: RS JR
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 6 inches, 280 pounds
2013 Season: Played in all 14 games as a TE
Newberry will lineup in his third position in as many years when he makes the move to defensive tackle next season. He spent 2012 as a defensive end recording 13 tackles in 12 games before moving to tight end last season to provide depth after Haplea and freshman Jeremey Kerr suffered season ending injuries during the summer. He will move back to defense in 2014 and work to find a role in the defensive tackle rotation. With the departure of Timmy Jernigan, Demonte McAllister, and Jacobbi McDaniel from last year’s team the DT rotation is wide open. Newberry has the physical tools and size to contribute if he can adjust to a new position once again. He struggled at times during the spring to pick up the nuances of the position such as the correct stance, but a full summer of practice should prepare him to contribute in the fall.
Ranking: Brandon (Unranked), Ryan (37), Ariya (44)
Ht/Wt: 6 feet, 192 pounds
2013 season: In high school
Marshall early-enrolled in January and was a full participant during spring practice. He was a four-star recruit out of Columbia High School in Lake City and the number 14 safety in the class of 2014. During spring practice he worked at safety as Tyler Hunter and Nate Andrews battled injuries, but he also spent a lot of time working as the dime back in sets with six defensive backs. Marshall is a big physical player who has the potential to break into the rotation from day one. The Seminoles are stacked at defensive back, but Fisher has a tendency to play young players. Jalen Ramsey and Andrews saw considerable time as true freshman last season and Marshall looks to be the next in line.
Ranking: Brandon (41), Ryan (Unranked), Ariya (35)
Ht/Wt: 6 feet 2 inches, 172 pounds
2013 season: In High School
Outside of Rashad Greene, FSU’s wide receiver corps is wide open. Lane was a five-star recruit out of Homestead and the fifth ranked wide receiver in the nation. He is a physical receiver and has the ability to give the Seminoles a big outside target to replace Kelvin Benjamin who left early for the NFL. Lane is raw as a player, but the turnover at receiver after last season leaves the door open for Lane to contribute from day. Look for him to compete with sophomore Isiah Jones for the spot Benjamin filled last season.
Ranking: Brandon (45), Ryan (44), Ariya (42)
By: Brandon O’Connor