We’re less than 40 days from the start of the 2013 college football season, and that means preview countdowns! In the past, we’ve limited these lists to just the top 25 players, but this season, we’re upping our game to 50. So just about every day until the season starts, there will be a new player profile up here as we count down to the top ACC player for 2013.
Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.
For Florida State, last year’s weak schedule actually hindered quite a bit of production from their core offensive players. Between that and Jimbo Fisher’s overly conservative play-calling, potential stars like Rashad Greene found themselves putting up much lesser numbers than they were capable of — a large source of complaint for FSU fans throughout the fall. But that shouldn’t be the case this season. With a well-spaced schedule of competitive matchups, you won’t see the Seminoles starters sitting on the bench nearly as much, meaning big days from the entire offense.
Despite the limited playing time and emphasis on the run last season, Greene did still manage to put in an impressive effort as a sophomore. His 57 catches led the team, as did his 741 receiving yards and six scores. And he has an ability to get involved in the running game too, as he showed while scoring a rushing touchdown against USF. It’s Greene’s speed (4.47 40-yard dash time) that truly allows him to be everywhere on the field, and let him excel in 2012. Now, he’ll be counting on Fisher to let this offense turn him loose. The evidence is clear that he can be an enormous asset (see the USF or Virginia Tech victories in particular), but can he deliver those types of game-changing performances every single Saturday?
While the FSU offense is loaded with talent, there’s still a very good chance Greene will need to bring his A-game each and every time he’s on the field. As discussed during yesterday’s article on Jamison Crowder, inexperienced quarterbacks need veteran receivers to help make their jobs easier. The situations are different in that Duke is incredibly reliant on the passing game and their quarterback has a lot more experience than redshirt freshman Jameis Winston — but the task remains the same for each team’s top receivers. Greene must help reduce Winston’s learning curve and in return, he’ll enjoy the spoils of being his passer’s top target. We’ll see how much Winston can utilize Greene as a deep target (yes, he’s got arm strength, but accuracy will be a question in the early goings), but in the meantime, the receiver’s speed should still position him for plenty of opportunities in underneath routes. The pressure for Florida State’s success may appear to be laying squarely on Winston, but in reality, it may actually be up to Greene to decide whether or not the offense keeps up last year’s effective pace.