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Class-by-Class Breakdown: Sophomores

May 19, 2014

Brandon Mellor Brandon Mellor
Seminoles.com Managing Editor
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Roberto Aguayo

Aguayo won the 2013 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award after a memorable redshirt freshman season.

The Mascotte, Fla. was a consensus All-American last year as he broke the national record for points by a kicker in a single season with 157 and outscored eight of the ‘Noles’ opponents by himself. Aguayo also made 115 of 116 kicks on the year and was 94-of-94 on extra points.

College football’s best kicker still has three years of eligibility remaining.

Nate Andrews

He was unheralded as a recruit but FSU fans and opposing defense alike quickly recognized Andrews’ talent as a true freshman in 2013. Andrews earned All-ACC honors and freshman All-American honors while playing in all 14 games and leading the Seminoles with four interceptions. He also tied Lamarcus Joyner with a team-high three forced fumbles.

Andrews enters the 2014 season as a favorite for a starting job at safety. He is also versatile enough to play cornerback and nickel back in FSU’s defensive scheme.

Colin Blake

A reserve safety and special teams player a season ago, Blake will be fighting for even more playing time in 2014.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound defender from San Antonio, Texas has three tackles to his credit in 11 career games.


Casher could become a starting defensive end in 2014

Chris Casher

Casher actually played in two games as a true freshman in 2012 but was given a medical redshirt after sustaining a season-ending injury. In 2013, the Mobile, Ala. native showed flashes of his immense ability from the defensive end position and is in position now to compete for a starting job opposite Mario Edwards, Jr. when camp gets started this fall.

Casher registered five tackles for loss and two sacks as a redshirt freshman and also added a scoop-and-score touchdown against Bethune-Cookman — a contest that also saw him post a career-high 10 tackles. Casher has made 25 tackles in his young career.

Ukeme Eligwe

Another sophomore that is vying for a starting spot this fall, Eligwe was a special teams player and reserve linebacker as a redshirt freshman last year when he posted 28 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks.

Eligwe played some defensive end as an edge rusher last year in addition to his linebacker duties but the 2014 season will see the athletic defender get a chance at middle linebacker. First, though, he needs to get healthy. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said at the end of spring practices that Elgwe sustained a knee injury that will keep him out of workouts this summer.

Ryan Green

A talented tailback that played in 12 games as a rookie last year and accumulated 163 yards on 33 carries with one touchdown, Green missed spring practices after having shoulder surgery. 

He is expected back in time for fall camp this August where he’ll compete for playing time in a super talented backfield.

Isaiah Jones

With Kelvin Benjamin now catching passes for the Carolina Panthers, Jones is the only scholarship wide receiver on the roster that stands taller than 6-foot-2. At 6-foot-4 and 193 pounds, Jones isn’t as big as Benjamin but he did show signs of becoming a receiving threat during spring practices and if he can continue to add strength could become a big-play threat like Benjamin.

Jones played in five games as a rookie and caught two passes for 31 yards but missed most of the season after suffering a foot injury.

E.J. Levenberry

Levenberry is also in the mix for first-team status on FSU’s terrific defense. Levenberry played in 13 games as a true freshman and started once. 

He finished the year with 39 tackles and a memorable 78-yard interception return against Idaho that helped FSU set the school record for most points scored in a single game.

Sean Maguire

A reserve quarterback a season ago, the redshirt sophomore will be the No. 2 signal caller for the ‘Noles in 2014. Maguire backed up former FSU quarterback Jacob Coker to start the season last year but moved into the second-string role after Coker went down with a season-ending injury against Wake Forest.

Maguire appeared in nine games last year, completing 13-of-21 passes for 116 yards with two touchdowns.

Mario Pender

Pender has spent three springs on the football roster but has yet to play for the ‘Noles entering the 2014 season — but that should change.

After enrolling early in 2012 and then redshirting, Pender was academically ineligible last fall. He responded by posting one of the highest grades on the team during the fall 2013 semester and was then a fixture in the tailback rotation this past spring.

Ultra quick and shifty, Pender will be a key factor in FSU’s run game this year.


Ramsey could be a Jim Thorpe Award candidate as a sophomore

Jalen Ramsey

A budding superstar, Ramsey immediately lived up to his five-star recruiting status by starting every game and becoming a fixture in the FSU secondary last year. After becoming the first true freshman to start at cornerback since Deion Sanders, Ramsey moved to safety after Tyler Hunter’s season-ending injury early in the year. Now, Ramsey will play nickel back after Joyner’s graduation — a move that was made this past spring and should allow Ramsey to make even more plays.

Last year, Ramsey earned freshman All-American honors while racking up 49 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. Ramsey is also a long jumper on FSU’s elite track team.

Justin Shanks

A reserve defensive tackle, Shanks played in seven games and made three tackles as a redshirt freshman last year.

Freddie Stevenson

Stevenson is another sophomore in line for a starting job (sensing a theme here?) in 2014. After moving from linebacker to fullback during fall camp last year, Stevenson played behind starter Chad Abram in 2013 and carried the ball eight times for 33 yards and one touchdown.

With Abram now on the Detroit Lions roster, Stevenson is poised to be the next versatile fullback in the Fisher offense — a spot that has belonged to Abram and Lonnie Pryor before him.

DeMarcus Walker

Another second-year player, another potential starter. Walker is in the mix for first-team pass-rusher duties in 2014 after starting three games at defensive end in 2013.

The Jacksonville, Fla. native registered 18 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack as a rookie.

Marquez White

A reserve cornerback as a true freshman, White played in 13 games and finished with 12 tackles and an interception. He also spent some time cross-training at wide receiver but his gridiron future is at cornerback where his 6-foot frame and athleticism is an asset in FSU’s defense.

White also played for FSU coach Leonard Hamliton’s basketball team as a backup point guard.

Kermit Whitfield

The fastest player in the nation, Whitfield’s kick return for a touchdown against Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game will forever live in FSU lore as one of the greatest plays in program history.

Whitfield excelled as a kick returner as a true freshman, leading the nation in kick-return average (36.4). In 2014, Whitfield will continue to be FSU’s special-teams ace but he’ll also be asked to step up and build off the five catches for 89 yards he posted as a wide receiver last year.


Wilson could make a big leap in his second year

Jesus Wilson

Another second-year wide receiver being asked to step up and help fill the voices left by Kenny Shaw and Benjamin, Wilson grabbed three passes for 23 yards as a rookie last year.

Wilson will be in position to push for a starting job at wide receiver this fall. He's also in the mix for punt-return duties.

Jameis Winston

College football’s best player is back for at least one more year after orchestrating one of the greatest individual seasons in college football history in 2013. Just a redshirt freshman at the time, Winston didn’t play like a youngster, leading the Seminoles to the third national championship in school history and capturing the Heisman Trophy in the process.

All eyes have been on Winston and will continue to be on Winston as he attempts to make history in 2014. FSU’s leader is currently — for the second season in a row — a valuable member of the Florida State baseball team’s pitching staff as well.

Click here to see all of Winston's accolades


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