FSU Football: Defensive Underclassmen to be Optimistic for in 2019

T-FR Brendan Gant, Safety. 

Brendan Gant is a 6’2, 185lb safety out of Kathleen in Lakeland, Florida. FSU had major struggles in the secondary last season specifically at safety. Defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett’s scheme challenges the safety position to play a lot of single coverage on slot receivers and tight ends. A challenge FSU’s safeties clearly weren’t ready for. Gant is a talented and rangy defender able to play up and be an enforcer in the run game hence the “Boomstick” nickname. However, his athleticism and high football IQ is what can let him challenge for a starting spot at some point in his freshman campaign.

 T-FR / SOPH- Akeem Dent, Asante Samuel Jr, & AJ Lytton, CB. 

Akeem Dent was one of the top corners of his class and for very good reason. He has that swagger and attitude that you want out of an FSU DB. Dent is just a baller to say the least. If he’s not knocking heads off, he’s taking a pick to the house. His aggressive play can get him in trouble at times but it’s also what makes him such a great player, He isn’t afraid to make a play. It wouldn’t surprise me if he earned a starting spot on the outside, at some point this season.

Asante Samuel Jr, was one of the few bright spots of last season. He had his growing pains as you would expect from a true freshman but his good far outweighed his bad. Despite the off year by the Seminoles Asante consistently played at high level, you can argue that he was the best corner for FSU last year. With his work ethic you can expect a big jump in year two.

Alright, take a way the freshman mistake of letting Cager get the inside route on the goal line and giving up the TD, Lytton had a solid freshman campaign. Him and Asante absolutely look promising for the future of the secondary. Lytton is a guy who makes everything he does looks easy. In my opinion, he didn’t get a lot of opportunities last season to showcase what he can. This season I expect him to find his way on the field whether it’s at the nickel or on the outside.

T-FR/ RS-FR/ SOPH – Kalen Deloach,  Xaiver Peters, and Jaiden Woodbey, LB/DE/STAR.

Deloach is one of the only players who think will be a day one starter from the 2019 Cycle. Yes, I think he is going to come in and start right away. He’s what FSU needs on the opposite side of SR LB Dontavious Jackson, Deloach is a big hitter and a force in the run game and an upgrade over anything FSU has in the spot right now. His athleticism makes more suitable to cover TE’s like Brevin Jordan and RBs out the backfield. His presence brings an attitude that’s lacking to FSU LBs since Reggie Northup and Terrance Smith last suited up.

Xaiver Peters had a little bit of drama earlier in the offseason when it was rumored that he was transferring out of FSU and into Kentucky the team he was committed to before flipping to the Seminoles. Going into his Sophomore year Peters has a legit chance to start and might be the pass rusher to replace Brian Burns who is projected as a first round pick. With so many questions at the DE position Peters is a name to keep an eye on. He played in one game for three plays and made three straight tackles. With only a very small sample of seeing Peters in live action, it showed that he has a very high motor, something I can’t say about some of FSU’s other DEs.

Jaiden Woodbey was the prized recruit of the offseason going into his freshman year, all we heard about was how coach Taggart managed to pull off such a high profile flip in such a short time. Well, Woodbey lived up to every expectation put out for him. Aside from Burns he was the Seminoles best defensive player and I don’t think there’s any debating that. Woodbey literally stood out every game and that’s part of the reason he was a Freshman All American and with this work ethic and dedication to the game expect Woodbey to make that next step in year two.

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