Jared Verse/Derrick McLendon
Newcomer Jared Verse and reserve Derrick McLendon are next on the list. I listed both players because both will likely see ample time on the field.
The objective will be to offset the production lost from the departures of Keir Thomas and Jermaine Johnson. Dennis Briggs is coming back from the season-ending injury, but I feel like I know what to expect if he’s healthy.
The unknown of what Verse and McLendon will do has them high on this list. McLendon flashed a few times last year in reserve duty, and Verse physically looks like a million bucks. His spring performances indicate his talent translates from FCS to the ACC, but will he be consistent enough?
The FSU defense must generate a pass rush similar to what they had last year if they want to continue ascending towards improvement, and these two players will be key, especially on third down.
The Noles allowed third down conversions 41 percent of the time, and that needs to get down to 35 percent or better.