The only way to keep going is up.
Florida State may be coming off an undefeated championship year, but there is still work to be done. Key players have graduated or moved onto the NFL, and the Seminoles have to prepare to make another run at a title, which starts and ends at AT&T Stadium.
The preparation for next season has already started with players going through workouts in anticipation of spring practice, where the season truly starts for college players. Spring is a time to hone your skills and learn your position better rather than fall practice, which consists of learning your opponent week in and week out.
Spring can be a time for players to turn into stars—as what happened last year with Jameis Winston—and for the Seminoles, this year could very well be the same. There are players who will grow during spring and have the chance to break out in Tallahassee next year.
Williams stands as the player to gain the most over the weeks of spring practice. An already talented back in his first year at the position, Williams ran for 730 yards for the Seminoles after switching over from safety.
Now, with Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. chasing NFL dollars, Williams will be the No. 1 option in Tallahassee, which has some fans more than excited. Spring will give him a chance to fully learn the position and how to be an every down back, and for somebody with Williams' speed, ability and size, that could be lethal for Florida State's opponents.
One of the heroes of Florida State's BCS National Championship victory over Auburn, Whitfield will get a spring to develop as a potential offensive playmaker for the Seminoles in 2014. Last season as a freshman, he was used sparingly as a wide receiver and ball carrier, rushing for two touchdowns and 74 yards while catching five balls for 86 yards, along with taking two kickoffs back.
This season, Whitfield could end up being a Percy Harvin-type player for the Seminoles, somebody whom you can give the ball and he can either score or get you pretty darn close. Spring will serve as a chance for him to find a place to flourish in the offense rather than get a few carries in garbage time minutes.
Another running back with a lot to gain, the early enrollee from Miami has a chance to make a name for himself this spring. While Williams Sr. has the benefit of being a lock as the main running back for the Seminoles this year, the second spot is a little less clear.
Mario Pender and Ryan Green will be Cook's competition for carries, with the former getting some carries in 2013 and the latter returning to the team after failing to be academically eligible. Pender is now one of the members on the team with a GPA above 3.0, so Cook will have his hands full. If he can have a strong showing in the spring, that could translate to a bigger role in his freshman year in Tallahassee.