FSU football released its projected depth chart on Monday afternoon for their 2023 prime-time season opener versus the LSU Tigers on Sunday, September 3rd. If you missed our takeaways from the depth chart, click here.
One aspect becomes abundantly clear that defensive coordinator Adam Fuller has a tremendous unit on his hands, specifically at the defensive end position.
During the 2022 season, the Seminoles did a tremendous job in being able to put pressure on the opposing team’s quarterbacks where they accumulated 40 sacks.
While the college football media generally discusses redshirt junior Jared Verse (justifiably so), some forget about rising redshirt sophomore Patrick Payton on the opposite side of the Albany transfer.
Payton entering a pivotal year in his development. During the 2022 season, he recorded 31 total tackles (six tackles for loss) and five sacks. The Miami (FL) native was awarded the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year for his efforts.
It looks as though the former Class of 2021 four-star prospect is just scratching the surface of what he could be in this defense. Payton had to split playing time last season with defensive end Derrick McLendon II, who transferred to Colorado this offseason.
While the coaching staff decided to acquire South Carolina’s Gilber Edmond via the transfer portal, this move should not allow the former Miami Northwestern High School standout to take a hit in his development as a player.
Payton made the jersey change from No. 56 to No. 11 this offseason (we all know how the last defensive end at Florida State performed when wearing the number).
During that sensational 2021 campaign for former defensive end Jermaine Johnson II (who is now playing for the New York Jets), he was a bright spot for a Seminoles’ defensive unit where he recorded 70 total tackles and 12 sacks.
While that is a lofty expectation for Payton, I have the utmost confidence in his ability to achieve double-digit sacks in 2023.