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Florida State Seminoles

Former Seminoles Will Look to Impress Scouts on March 28

Ari Russell

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(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
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Over the next several weeks, college football programs will be holding Pro Days for the scouts to take a more in depth look at potential NFL prospects. For the Florida State Seminoles, their Pro Day will be held on March 28. It will be a chance for players to showcase various skills. It’s kind of like a more focused combine. Basically if you didn’t have a strong combine, but do well on your Pro Day, that can make up any potential ground that was lost.

Below are the FSU players that will be working out on Pro Day.

RB Dalvin Cook

DE DeMarcus Walker

LT Roderick Johnson

CB Marquez White

WR Kermit Whitfield

G Kareem Are

FB Freddie Stevenson

Dalvin Cook will gain a lot of the attention. After an okay combine, he may have a little work to do in order to be the first RB taken. Either way, he’s pretty much a solid lock first rounder. The goal is to have a strong Pro Day and move into the Top 10.

Another player scouts will be keeping a close eye on will be LT Roderick Johnson. With this being a shallow draft for offensive linemen, Johnson will have to show something. He didn’t participate in the drills at the combine, so he will have to do something to convince the scouts he has the skills to be an earlier round draft pick.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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Florida State Seminoles

Taggart not revealing FSU QB plan for Wake Forrest

Abbey Radeka

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

FSU head coach Willie Taggart has been pretty upfront about the quarterback situation in Tallahassee, since officially naming James Blackman as the starter before their season opener. However he’s keeping his decision a little closer to the vest this week.

Wether it’s been an intentional move or simply out of desperation, or likely both, Taggart has found himself employing a two quarterback system after starter James Blackman hurt his knee midway through the Louisville game in Week 4. Alex Hornibrook finished the game and brought home the first semi good-looking win for the Noles. The graduate transfer from Wisconsin started the following week against NC state in what was arguably, the Seminoles best game of the season.

Then, prior to this past weekends demolition against Clemson, Taggart named Blackman as starter but explained that Hornibrook would see substantial playing time as well. On Saturday, he did just that, but it proved to be more of a hinderance than beneficial as the offense struggled to get anything going through two and a half quarters.

Though his decision to play both QBs was likely in an effort to give the Noles an edge against the Tiger’s powerhouse of a defensive line, the constant switching didn’t allow either quarterback to get into any sort of a rhythm and only added to the problems that the team is having.

On Thursday, Taggart gave his final thoughts about their upcoming game against Wake Forrest in which they are 2.5 point underdogs. And unlike last week, he gave no indication on who fans can expect to see under center.

When asked if Blackman will be his guy, he said “You’ll see Saturday.”  That was followed up by a question asking if he was planning on using both QB’s, to which he echoed his previous response, “You’ll see Saturday.”

Right now, Taggart is heading into crunch time to try and constitute this 2019 season as rebuilding year.

This past Saturday in Clemson was certainly disappointing because FSU seemed to have more offensive promise than last year, however, that game was not a great way to get a pulse of where the team is at.

It’ll be how they play in upcoming teams on the schedule like Wake Forest, Syracuse, Miami and Boston College to see if the program is truly in the dumps. If they cant recover and compete with those teams to pull out an 8-4 record for the season, it’s going to be hard for Taggart to convince his critics that he’s getting the program back on an upward trajectory.

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Florida State Seminoles

FSU falls badly to Clemson again

Abbey Radeka

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

It was a game where both FSU’s offense and defense would have to put together their best performance of the season for an entire game to remotely have a chance against the reigning national champions. But in an unsurprising series of events, FSU came up extremely short on both ends, as the Tigers rolled 45-14.

In a snapshot, the offense was unable to cross the 50 yard line until late in the third quarter, and the defense, who’ve prided themselves on being able to stop the run, allowed Clemson (6-0, 4-0 in ACC) to rush for 306 yards with an of average of 5.9 yards per carry, let alone put any pressure on Trevor Lawrence.

The game started off on a rough note as FSU (3-3, 2-2 in the ACC) allowed Clemson to steamroll down to their 5 yard line in 2 minutes. After a near goal line stand, Lawrence found Travis Etienne on a 4th and 1 for a TD. This was only a preview as to what was to come for the remainder of the half as the Tigers took a dominating 28-0 lead.

In the second half, FSU allowed for another 14 unanswered points, falling behind 42-0. The Noles were on the verge of a shutout until Alex Hornibrook connected with Tamorrion Terry across the middle, who ran it into the end zone from 64 yards out.

After a field goal by Clemson, Florida State got their second score of the game in the final minutes of the game when Khalan Laborn ran for a 40-yard touchdown to bring the score to 45-14.

FSU announced James Blackman as starter earlier in the week, but playing time was split evenly between him and Hornibrook, who both struggled to garner any sort of passing game. Blackman completed 8 of 20 passes for 60 yards with two interceptions. Hornibrook was 8 of 12 for 84 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Granted, both guys were under a ton of pressure from Clemson’s D-Line who completely outmatched the Seminole O-Line, but both cracked under pressure. And worse, Clemsons solid defensive front managed to keep Cam Akers silent, as he totaled just 34 yards on nine carries.

When you get blown out by a conference rival, there isn’t much, if anything, to celebrate and it’s certainly hard to get excited about a moral victory. However, the one positive take FSU’s head coach, Willie Taggart, can take from the game is that his team did not quit, which is something he can’t say about their blowout at home last season.

“I thought our guys fought until the end and I was pleased to see that. Our guys kept fighting and kept trying to make plays and that’s what you want to see out of your football team.”

He added, “We didn’t quit. You won’t see this football team quit. You’ll see this football team fight in every single game. Yeah, we didn’t play well, but our guys didn’t quit—they fought until the end.”

He also seemed confident in a bounce back next week in their matchup on the road with Wake Forrest.

“I told our guys afterwards, I love the way they fought through the game and we can’t let this one game cause us to lose two games…we got to get back to work. I know they will. I know they’ll fight back and get back next week.”

While an upset this game was pretty much off the table for most, it did just turned out to be another harsh reminder of just how far this once powerhouse school has fallen from the ranks.

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