Wayne McGahee III

FSU Position Previews: Secondary

Florida State's secondary is one of the deepest and most talented in the country, but there are still questions.

Position Starter 2nd Team 3rd Team
Boundary Corner Tarvarus McFadden or Marcus Lewis Carlos Becker
Free Safety Derwin James AJ Westbrook
Strong Safety Nate Andrews Calvin Brewton
Field Corner Marquez White Malique Jackson Kyle Meyers
Star Trey Marshall Levonta Taylor
Money Nate Andrews

That is close to the depth chart that Florida State released at ACC Media Days except that AJ Westbrook was listed as the second team star, and none of the freshmen were listed at all. This will likely change before the start of the season.

The two players that will definitely be in the starting lineup against Ole Miss are Derwin James and Marquez White. James is considered one of the top returning players in college football, as well as arguably the top safety in the country. James is the most versatile player on the Florida State roster. He played as a safety, linebacker, and defensive end as a freshman, and is set to do so again this year.

White is coming off a stellar junior season that got overshadowed by All-American Jalen Ramsey. He is one of the most underrated players in the country despite teams choosing to throw at Ramsey instead of him. I wouldn't expect that to change this year no matter who the cornerback opposite him is.

The boundary cornerback position is a two player race that's neck and neck. Marcus Lewis has the slight edge heading into fall camp, but McFadden is right there. The two are pushing each other, and both will play significant snaps in 2016. Whoever wins the job will have earned it.

Nate Andrews' position on the defense is another question. He is listed as the starting strong safety, but fits the money role far better. Depending on how fall camp goes he could shift to that position. 

Trey Marshall is the starting star, a position he held last year before tearing his bicep against Louisville. Before then he was playing at a very high level. He is also the leading candidate to take over the strong safety position if a certain freshman can step in and get the system down at star.

That freshman is Levonta Taylor. Reports are already coming in that Taylor is adapting well during the 7-on-7 summer workouts at the star position, and is ready to fight for the starting job during fall camp. He's the type of player to get on the field early and often his freshman season. 

AJ Westbrook is another player to watch heading into fall camp. The staff is very high on his ability, and football IQ. He is a guy that could find his way onto the field at any of the safety or star positions. His playing time will significantly go up this season.

Malique Jackson is a bit of a question mark. He's rarely seen the field during his first two years at Florida State, and has already fallen behind McFadden and Lewis. If he doesn't step up this season he could find himself behind a stellar 2016 freshman class as well.

Calvin Brewton had trouble staying healthy last season, and didn't see the field very often. He can play nearly every role in the secondary with Florida State playing him at safety and corner.

Carlos Becker III and Kyle Meyers both arrived on campus in June. Both have excellent size and could play any of the positions in the secondary, which is something that the coaching staff values. They will both see the field this season, but how much is the question.


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