Photo courtesy of Florida State athletics
At the end of March, the NCAA granted another year of eligibility for spring athletes who had their seasons cut short by the COVID-19 cancellations.
Like all other schools, Florida State could take advantage of the additional eligibility. Below, we look at 15 spring sports seniors who could return next season. We tried to limit it to athletes who had made an impact and ones where there was a reasonable chance of returning.
Chase Haney, P
Set to be a redshirt senior, it’s hard to gauge whether Chase Haney would want to return for a sixth season. A 6-foot-6 sidewinder, Haney has been pretty reliable throughout his somewhat injury-plagued career. Haney ended 2020 with a 3-0 record and 1.29 ERA.
Clayton Kwiatkowski, P
An experienced lefty out of the Florida State bullpen, Clayton Kwiatkowski is not regarded as a big-time prospect. Used as a spot starter and middle reliver, Kwiatkowski could being leadership to the FSU pen in 2021. He’s been effective, never posting an ERA above four in any season.
Carter Smith, 1B/C
One of the unsung heroes of Florida State’s run to the 2019 College World Series, Carter Smith likely won’t be selected very early in the upcoming draft, if at all. Still, Smith is a versatile player who has had some success with the bat.
One of just three seniors on the FSU beach volleyball team, Molly McBain was 13-0 in duals this past season. With teammate Alaina Chacon set to return, there is a decent chance that McBain could follow suit. The other two seniors were Payton Caffrey and Sara Putt. Caffrey was on an indoor volleyball scholarship and completed her eligibility. Putt was a redshirt senior.
Caylan Arnold, P
A Tennessee transfer, Caylan Arnold was serving as Florida State’s de facto ace in her only season on campus. Arnold posted a 5-3 record and 1.40 ERA this past season. Getting her back would be a huge lift for the Seminoles.
Cassidy Davis, UT/P
A 2-way player known mostly for her bat, Cassidy Davis could add depth to the pitching staff and power to the lineup. After hitting 10 home runs as a junior in 2019, Davis was batting .313 with five home runs as a senior in 2020.
Dani Morgan, OF
A 4-year contributor and former ACC Tournament MVP, Dani Morgan could provide some leadership with another season. Morgan plays excellent defense and consistently has good at-bats. Morgan hit .377 as a junior in 2019.
Anna Shelnutt, C
After suffering a gruesome eye injury, it’s possible that Anna Shelnutt may have gotten a medical redshirt anyway. Shelnutt has had a knack for the dramatic home run throughout her career. That earned her the nickname, “Postseason Anna”. She does a nice job handling a pitching staff behind the plate as well.
Rana Roop Bhullar
The top player for the FSU men’s team, Rana Roop Bhullar led the Seminoles with 18 total singles wins this past season. In dual play, the native of Norway was a team-best 10-2.
Men’s basketball wasn’t the only FSU team in the midst of a historic season when COVID-19 hit. The FSU women’s tennis team was in the top 5 of the ITA standings and had been as high as No. 2. Including tour play, Das was leading the Seminoles with 19 singles victories.
The other senior on FSU’s women’s tennis team, Andrea Garcia was 10-4 in singles duals and had 18 singles wins total for the year. Getting Garcia for a fifth season would be huge for Jennifer Hyde’s team.
A senior for the men’s team, Alex Knaff looked well on his way to at least 15 singles duals wins for a third straight season. Knaff was 3-2 this past season against ranked opponents.
Track and Field
Unlike with sprinters, going pro in field events isn’t as lucrative financially. A Middle Tennessee State transfer and ACC champion in the long jump, Fabian Edoki could consider making a run at a repeat.
The national runner-up in the discus in 2019, Shanice Love elected not to compete during the indoor season in 2020. Unfortunately for her, the outdoor season never came. It would be a long hiatus, but if Love returns in 2021, she’d have a legitimate shot at winning the national championship in the discus.
Caleb Parker returning seems like a stretch, but there’s a very good chance that decision would result in championships. Parker finished second to teammate Trey Cunningham in the 60-meter hurdles at the ACC Indoor Championships. He also narrowly missed getting a medal in the high jump. Parker finished fourth.