The Florida State Seminole return the bulk of their offense from their national champioship team, including Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston, but if you’re looking at a potential weakness in the Seminoles attempt to repeat, it would be on defense where zero seniors are projected to start.
Programs like Florida State are accustomed to seeing juniors leave early for the NFL draft and they recruit with that in mind, it is one of their most recent blue-chip recruits, Jalen Ramsey, who is ready to step up and fill the leadership void left by LaMarcus Joyner heading to the NFL.
Ramsey, a rising sophomore, was a Freshman All-American last season at defensive back after making 49 tackles with one sack and one interception after coming to Tallahassee as a five-star recruit and the No. 2 cornerback recruit in the nation and has some of the same traits that made Joyner such a tremendous leader and one of the top defensive backs in program history.
Joyner’s ability to lead as a playmaker was visible on the field throughout his career with Florida State, but it was his vocal leadership at practice, in the locker room and on the sideline that made him the special player that he was. Ramsey is trying to follow in his footsteps according to head coach Jimbo Fisher who said his leadership has been “off the chain” this spring.
“I think I should hold myself to step up in that area. I feel I can push other people,” Ramsey tells Andrea Adelson.
Florida State did well with a redshirt freshman leading the offense and it will be a second-year player leading the defense this season, so age should not be as big of an issue as it once was.
Seniors can be great leaders, but who is to say sophomores can’t be too? As Fisher tells Adelson, there is no age limit on leadership.
Florida State will put that axiom to the test this season.