How will the FSU football coach use his fullback and tight ends in 2017 – as Jimbo Fisher has a desire to be multiple in offensive formations.
Jimbo Fisher takes pride in using a plethora of different formations on offense. The Seminoles offense can spread you out with their wide receivers or tighten the field with larger personnel. With the athletes FSU football has recruited at tight end and fullback, on top of the experience returning, I would expect the positions to feature more in the offense going forward.
Some expected Ryan Izzo to have a monster year at tight end for FSU football this past season. While that may not have exactly been the case, Izzo still improved on his season totals from 2015, catching 19 passes for 277 yards. Athletic freak Mavin Saunders still hasn’t completely broken out, but was able to flash some of his potential in 2016 with 10 receptions for 182 yards.
Saunders potential is limitless, with another off season of development, I would expect Izzo and Saunders to take significant steps forward.
Gabe Nabers is a name that FSU football fans need to remember going into 2017. Nabers is an athlete from Lowndes County, Georgia that was recruited to play fullback at FSU. Fullback has become an important position at FSU under Fisher. From Lonnie Pryor, to Chad Abrams, and Freddie Stevenson, fullback play has been essential in the Seminoles offense.
Nabers has a unique skill set and is a good pass-catcher. Expect Fisher to exploit Nabers’ pass catching ability as another weapon in the offense. As mentioned above, Jimbo Fisher prefers multiplicity in his offense. Naturally, Fisher enjoys players he can move around across formations in a hybrid type of role.
The past two recruiting cycles, Fisher has brought in the prototypical type of athletes for the hybrid roles. In the 2016 class, it was Naseir Upshur – in 2017 it looks to be Tre McKitty. It will be interesting to see if Upshur is able to develop a role in the offense in 2017, while I would expect McKitty to need at least a year of development.
Due to the fact FSU football will be lacking significant experience at wide receiver in 2017 and Fisher has expressed his desire to be multiple, I would expect the fullbacks and tight ends to have an expanded role for FSU football in 2017.