Every team has a playmaker. Every team needs a playmaker. Florida State is without a proven playmaker.
In the past, FSU has produced some outstanding playmakers. A few that come to mind are Charlie Ward, Warrick Dunn, Peter Warrick, and Deion Sanders. Notice that all of these players made their mark in the '90s.
All of those guys played in the past. It is now 2009, and the 'Noles need somebody to step up and be "that guy" who can turn heads and break ankles.
Most rational people who know something about football would look at FSU and say, "That team has some athletes. They recruit well, they have good coaches, and they have done well over the years."
So, why is this question being asked?
Last year, Florida State had a fairly solid group of players last season. However, none of them really stood out.
Greg Carr could have been the playmaker, but he was not used enough. Preston Parker was supposed to be that guy, but he just didn't show much flash. Corey Surrency was the go-to guy at his JUCO college, but it did not translate to that much at FSU.
All three of those players are wide receivers. Most of the time your playmakers are also going to be receivers, but not always.
Coming out of high school, Antone Smith was predicted by some to be an All-American. He did some good things last year, but he obviously did not live up to the bold expections.
The players mentioned are no longer on the team. One of the players (Corey Surrency) got ripped off by the NCAA. (I had to include that sad and revolting piece of info).
This season, there is certainly potential, but no true experience or validation.
At wide receiver, the common playmaker position, FSU has some guys that can possibly be a go-to type player.
Bert Reed may turn into Florida State's point man. He played soundly last year and he certainly has the speed and shiftiness needed.
Jarmon Fortson has the size and hands needed. Taiwan Easterling is arguably the most solid returning player. True freshman Willie Haulstead has impressed in practice. Louis Givens was surprisingly effective last season.
One of these players will need to take it to the next level this season. Hopefully, all of them will.
The Seminoles are loaded at running back, but again, there is not much experience between any of them.
Jermaine Thomas was impressive as a freshmen last year, but he played behind Antone Smith. Thomas will be the starter this season and he could turn out to be one of the surprises in the ACC.
Ty Jones showed some amplitude last year. Tavares Pressley was a beast in JUCO ball, averaging 173 rushing yards a game. These two fellows will absolutely add some legitimate depth at the running back position.
Chris Thompson and Lonnie Pryor, both true freshmen, have made notable contributions in practice. But neither have played in a college game.
Down the road, both of these freshmen are going to do very well. Thompson has already been compared to Warrick Dunn by some of his own teammates.
Then there is the quarterback spot. FSU has not exactly had an exciting, difference-making (a good difference at that) QB in the past few years.
The starting quarterback is returning junior, Christian Ponder. Not exactly playmaker material; however, he did show some potential in a few games last year. Miami comes to mind...
EJ Manuel, who I believe will be the best FSU quarterback of this decade, sits behind Ponder. Manuel has the potential to be nasty and he will unquestionably contribute this season.
That is practically a rundown of the players who have the best shot at being playmakers for the Seminoles.
My inclination is to believe that Jarmon Fortson is going to be the go-to guy by the end of the season. His incredible athletic dexterity is going to be exploited by Jimbo Fisher.
My hope is that all of the guys mentioned will explode and exceed expectations. The 'Noles cannot afford for all of those individuals to play with mediocrity, as seemed the case last season.
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