It could be impossible for FSU quarterback Jameis Winston to improve upon what he accomplished in 2013, as he may have already authored the single greatest season in history for a Seminole signal-caller—as a redshirt freshman, no less.
The 6'4", 228-pounder completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 4,057 yards with 40 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, finishing as the highest-rated passer in the country (184.9) and winning the Heisman Trophy in the process. Florida State's unquestioned alpha dog in the locker room, despite his lack of experience at the collegiate level, Winston led the 'Noles to an unprecedented 14-0 record and the program's third national championship.
Even with Winston scheduled to return, if coach Jimbo Fisher wants to repeat in 2014, he'll have to replace a handful of senior leaders—a few early entries into the draft, too—with new talent at several key positions on both sides of the football.
Offensively, running backs Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin all gave up their remaining eligibility in order to turn pro, plus center Bryan Stork has graduated. As for the defense, nose tackle Timmy Jernigan will soon be a first-round pick, linebacker Telvin Smith probably hears his name called in Round 2 or 3 and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner was born to be a difference-maker in the NFL.
However, considering how well Fisher and Co. have recruited in recent years, here are seven players poised for a breakout performance that ensures the Seminoles reload—not rebuild—this coming season.
(Note: No commitments for the 2014 recruiting class were considered for this list, only players already part of the program in 2013.)