Florida State, Miami facing some major issues coming out of spring practice

May 15, 2017
  • By Zach Buckley
  • Special to The Palm Beach Post
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The Florida State Seminoles line up against the Miami Hurricanes during a game at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 2, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Florida State redshirt sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois was sacked 34 times last season.

The fact it’s unclear how — or if — the Seminoles will get that number down is their greatest concern coming out of spring, according to ESPN.

“The Seminoles are in good shape at quarterback with Deondre Francois, but can they protect him?” David M. Hale asked. “He was a tackling dummy far too often last season, and though Florida State thinks it has some answers on the offensive line, a rash of spring injuries meant a lot of mixing and matching on the line.”

It’s been a position problem for years in Tallahassee, and that was with Roderick Johnson twice earning first-team All-ACC honors. With the 6-foot-7 left tackle gone to the NFL, Florida State faces some (literally) large question marks with this unit.

Of course, most fan bases would rather face concerns with protecting the quarterback than with the actual signal-caller himself. Miami may not have that luxury.

“Coach Mark Richt means it when he says he has no idea who is going to start at quarterback,” Andrea Adelson wrote. “Evan Shirreffs and Malik Rosier finished spring as co-No. 1s, but true freshman N'Kosi Perry will get his shot once fall practice begins and will be given every opportunity to win the starting job.”

Two other Sunshine State schools are deemed to have top-25 teams and therefore had their primary problem area put under the microscope.

South Florida needs a pair of new starters to play alongside all-conference middle linebacker Auggie Sanchez, and it’s unclear who that will be. Florida’s depth at linebacker looks concerning, but not as much as the spring game performance of the offensive lane.