FSU football has begun the spring portion of their football schedule – and one website has an interesting name for people to watch this month.
So far, FSU football is one week deep into their spring football schedule, which will culminate on April 8th with the Garnet and Gold game making their return to Tallahassee. So far, there are plenty of questions needing to be answered – one of which is who fans and experts should watch this spring.
Is it quarterback Deondre Francois, who showed his toughness last season and could be one of the top quarterbacks in the game this season? What about Cam Akers, who entered school early and could be in line to be the starting running back for the Seminoles this season? What about defensive players like Brian Burns, Matthew Thomas or even the return of Derwin James?
Well, according to CBS Sports college football insider Ben Kercheval, it’s none of those names – and instead, someone from a segment of the team that has been much maligned for the past few seasons making the list as one of the 10 players to watch this spring:
"No. 6 – Rick Leonard, OL: The Seminoles have been downright dreadful at pass protection for most of the last two years… Leonard is the early favorite to succeed (Roderick) Johnson after playing right tackle in 2016. He had his ups and downs, but the former defensive end finally caught on as the season progressed. Quarterback Deondre Francois is a tough dude, but there are only so many crushing hits he can take."
There is no question that the offensive line has to step their game up this season if FSU football wants ANY chance of playing for the ACC title or making it to the College Football Playoff. Francois was knocked down and out of several games last season on plays where – most of the time – he was left hanging out to dry by his line.
The offensive line will be missing one of their starters with Alec Eberle – who is out after having surgery – so it won’t be as if the likely starting five will get a chance to flow with each other this spring. When fall practice takes place starting in August, that might be the most important thing for head coach Jimbo Fisher to get set before the ‘Noles take on Alabama come September 2nd.