Because Florida State absolutely manhandled Boston College last year both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, this week we have decided to look at a player from both units. Two of the biggest recruits to end up in Tallahassee in 2012 were quarterback Jameis Winston and Mario Edwards. Today we are going to give you a peek into what we can expect from both of these players.
Winston is a redshirt freshman from Alabama who was the #1 or #2 quarterback in the 2012 recruiting class, who turned heads during his performance at the Elite 11 Camp. He chose Florida State over Alabama, and redshirted last year where he learned from one of the best, E.J. Manuel. Now after Clint Trickett transferred, it appears the reigns are going to be turned over to him, though Jimbo Fisher hasn't officially named him the starter yet it is all but certain he will be.
Winston is an explosive dual threat quarterback who can beat you with his arm and his legs. He ran a 4.6 40 in high school, and only threw three interceptions his junior season. Just reading about him, and watching him he reminds me of a faster E.J. Manuel, though some people have begun to throw around comparisons to Robert Griffin III (though that might be a little premature at this point).
Any questions on whether Winston would be ready for the spotlight might have been answered during the FSU Spring Game where Winston went 12 of 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Not shabby for his first action against a potent FSU defense. Boston College is going to need how to contain Winston if they don't want a repeat of 2012. He has the potential of hitting targets deep down the field, but using his legs as well, both things that killed BC last year against FSU.
Mario Edwards Jr.
In last year's matchup BC was unable to keep Chase Rettig on his feet, even though he was only sacked once during the game. Florida State overwhelmed the Boston College front line, and forced Rettig to rush throws and made sure he never felt comfortable during the game. Gone are the dynamic pass rushers Tank Carradine and Bjoern Werner, who combined for 24 sacks last season.
Enter the sophomore Edwards, who came to FSU with a huge pedigree. He was the #1 defensive recruit in the country, and came with huge high school accolades. When he came to Tallahassee, it was unclear whether he was going to play DE or DT, given his 300 pound frame, but eventually he gained muscle, dropped wait and was put on the end.
Quickly the touted freshman got starting snaps last season after the loss of defensive end Brandon Jenkins. As a freshman he entered a rotation at DE that included Carradine, Werner and Giorgio Newberry. Mostly a reserve, Edwards still made an impression on his teammates "He's a beast, man," running back James Wilder Jr. said. "Pulling guards -- I've seen him smash a couple pulling guards in practice."
Now it's Edwards time to shine on defense, and he is going to be a huge matchup problem for Boston College, and could be one of the best pure defensive ends BC plays this season. BC will be playing two new tackles in their system, adding on a new coach. They are going to have to account for Edwards on all plays, and break downs in blocking like we saw in 2012 could lead to a break out performance by the blue chip sophomore.