One Week from FSU Football: Six Players to Watch in 2022

We are now one week away from Florida State’s 2022 season opener against Duquesne. The game will take place in the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium and will air on the ACC Network at 5 p.m. ET.

Head coach Mike Norvell is coming into a pivotal third season at the helm. He’ll look to turn around a Florida State that has suffered through four straight losing seasons.

However, confidence remains high in Tallahassee this offseason. The Seminoles will be returning 77% of their production from a season ago after closing 2021 by winning five of their last eight games.

Players to Watch

As we navigate to the start of the season, here are six FSU players to watch:

Jordan Travis, QB

Travis ended the season on a high note. Over his final three games against Miami, Boston College and Florida, he combined to average 305.6 total yards and seven total touchdowns. He is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the ACC. Travis has made tremendous strides as a passer over his time in Tallahassee. The biggest question regarding Travis is his health.

Johnny Wilson, WR

Wilson has showcased his ability to be a viable pass catcher this spring. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound receiver has size the likes of which the Seminoles have not seen since Auden Tate. During Wilson’s tenure at Arizona State, he dealt with hamstring issues as well as inconsistencies catching the football. If he can piece everything together, he could be a huge addition to the receiving corps.

Mycah Pittman, WR

FSU’s special teams unit was dismal last season. The unit ranked 126th out of 130 FBS teams in the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings. While Pittman was brought in to be utilized as a wide receiver, he is also a dynamic punt return specialist who the Seminoles certainly need in their arsenal. During the 2021 season at Oregon, Pittman had 15 punt returns for 151 yards. To put that statistic into perspective, veteran wide receiver Keyshawn Helton was FSU’s leading punt returner from a season ago with eight punt returns for 32 yards.

Jared Verse and Derrick McLendon II, DEs

The Seminoles will be tasked with replacing the likes of Jermaine Johnson II and Keir Thomas at defensive end. Those dynamic pass rushers combined for 18 total sacks in 2021 for the Seminoles. Luckily enough for Florida State, it acquired FCS transfer Jared Verse. Verse had 9.5 sacks in 2021. FSU also returns redshirt sophomore Derrick McLendon II — its leading returning sack producer from a season ago (3.5 sacks as a reserve). While the production from Johnson and Thomas won’t likely replicated by one player, the Seminoles need a collective effort from their pass rushers to be successful.

Tatum Bethune, LB

Bethune had a remarkable 2021 season at UCF. The Miami native tallied 108 total tackles. During the spring, the redshirt junior linebacker has emerged as a veteran leader for the defense. With Bethune joining redshirt junior Kalen DeLoach (69 total tackles), redshirt junior Amari Gainer and redshirt sophomore DJ Lundy (69 total tackles) in the rotation, this has a realistic chance to be the best linebackers unit that the Seminoles have seen since 2015.

Featured image courtesy of Florida State athletics