Wrapping-up Florida State’s Top 50 Players for 2014
Hart is the returning starter at right tackle, but his hold on the position is far from secure. He struggled at times last year against top tier defensive lineman and has been in-and-out of the doghouse throughout his entire career. Florida State is bringing in a plethora of new, talented offensive linemen this summer. The player in that group with the best chance to compete for the starting job is JUCO transfer Chad Mavety. A massive player at 6 feet 6 inches and 320 pounds, Mavety should push Hart for the right tackle job. Hart came in at No. 19 on the top 50 list because he will enter fall camp at the top of the depth chart, but he is in danger of free falling down the list if he loses the job to Mavety or one of the incoming freshmen.
Thomas will be a redshirt freshman in 2014. He flashed in limited playing time last season before suffering a season ending shoulder injury. Florida State is loaded at linebacker, but Thomas may be the most physically gifted of the group. The Seminoles only return one starter- Terrance Smith- at linebacker which gives Thomas the perfect opportunity to see the field early and often. His best fit is at the hybrid edge rusher/strong-side linebacker position that Christian Jones played last season. Thomas’s physical gifts allow him the versatility to stand-up as a linebacker or put his hand in the dirt and play defensive end. If Thomas can translate his flashes last season into long term success this year he should sky rocket up the list of Florida State’s top players. Even if he doesn’t win a starting job in the offseason Thomas will be a key contributor in 2014.
Rudolph was the highest ranked freshman in the Top 50 Players countdown, narrowly edging Dalvin Cook. The top receiver in the class of 2014 according to Rivals.com, Rudolph has a chance to contribute from day one at Florida State. The Seminoles lost two of their top three receivers from last year’s team leaving the door open for a newcomer like Rudolph to make an impact. Rashad Greene will be the top receiver again next season, but Florida State’s other veteran receivers failed to impress the coaches during spring practice. Rudolph has been compared to Greene for his polish and route running coming out high school. If he can learn the playbook quickly enough, Rudolph has the talent to compete for a starting job from day one.