FSU football released its projected depth chart on Monday afternoon for its 2023 season opener versus LSU on Sunday, September 3rd.
While head football coach Mike Norvell has made his presence felt in the transfer portal, it became apparent that he is willing to play true freshmen if he feels they could make a sizable impact on their team’s success.
The notable freshmen listed on the two-deep rotation:
•WR Destyn Hill
•WR Hykeem Williams
•LB Blake Nichelson
•NICK Edwin Joseph
•FS Conrad Hussey
•FS KJ Kirkland
•CB Quindarrius Jones
With that said, here are three players who will likely be sizable contributors this season.
1. WR Destyn Hill
Some individuals thought that we would ever get to the point where former Class of 2021 four-star wide receiver Destyn Hill would make it to FSU’s campus (much less being a co-starter at the slot wide receiver spot). The Edna Karr High School standout has impressed the coaching staff with his ability to work and his determination to improve every day. Hill should play early and often this season.
2. LB Blake Nichelson
FSU fans were super excited when the Seminoles acquired Class of 2023 four-star linebacker prospect Blake Nichelson to their roster (thanks in large part to his relationship with GM Darrick Yray). The linebacker position is headlined by redshirt seniors Tatum Bethune and Kalen DeLoach, as well as redshirt junior DJ Lundy and redshirt freshman Omar Graham Jr. However, on Monday afternoon, Norvell explained that that true freshman will play this season, which is massive for his growth and development.
3. FS KJ Kirkland
The coaching staff was high on the Jacksonville (FL) native in the spring before he sustained an injury that kept him out of the spring game. Kirkland was an early enrollee, so that was an opportunity for him to get acclimated to the collegiate level before his true freshmen teammates such as Conrad Hussey and Edwin Joseph Jr., arrived on campus in the summer. If Kirkland can continue to showcase his skill set on a consistent basis, he has the opportunity to be a pivotal piece in a safety room looking for reliable depth.
I expect other freshmen to likely play over 100 snaps as FSU should blowout several opponents on the schedule. However, I like these guys ability to contribute early.