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It’s time to look ahead to the 2021 Florida State football season with Warchant’s annual list of the Top 40 players on the Seminoles’ roster — the players we expect to make the biggest impact for FSU this fall. (Note: This is not necessarily the 40 most talented players, but the players we believe will have the opportunity and capability to make the biggest impact this season.)

The list was compiled through voting by Warchant’s Gene Williams, Ira Schoffel, Corey Clark, Aslan Hajivandi and ESPN-Tallahassee’s Jeff Cameron. The Top 40 will be revealed in segments. It began with players No. 40 through No. 31 and was followed by players No. 30 through No. 21, No. 20 through 11 and No. 10 through 6.

It continues today with players No. 5 through No. 1.

(Be sure to watch the accompanying video below)

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No. 5 — Senior receiver Andrew Parchment

There have been a few underachieving segments on the Florida State football team in recent years, and wide receiver is at, or near, the top of that list. Last year, the Seminoles had just one 100-yard receiving game all season, and that was by a player (Tamorrion Terry) who was gone from the team a few weeks later.

With that in mind, the addition of Andrew Parchment could be a very big deal for the FSU offense in 2021. The Kansas transfer was stuck on one of the worst offenses in the country in 2020, but the year before that, he proved he could be a top-flight receiver. The Florida native had four 100-yard games in 2019 and finished the season with 65 catches and over 800 yards receiving for the Jayhawks. He should give the FSU offense a legitimate No. 1 receiver in 2021.

Individual rankings: Corey (4); Jeff (4); Ira (7); Aslan (7); Gene (16).

No. 4 — Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis

There might not be a better playmaker on the entire FSU roster than the former Louisville transfer. Travis rushed for almost eight yards per carry in non-sack plays a year ago, and he had seven touchdowns on the ground — including a record-breaking 88-yarder against Pitt. He hasn’t quite proven his ability as a passer yet, but he showed serious improvement in that regard in the spring and could very well be a capable thrower of the football in 2021. If that progress carries over to games, it would make him one of the most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.

But even if Travis doesn’t win the starting QB job at FSU in 2021, he still figures to be an important part of the Seminoles’ offense. Florida State doesn’t have many elite skill players on offense, so Travis’ legs should come in mighty handy — whether at another position for a few plays or as a QB with his own special packages. It’s impossible to imagine a talent like Travis just sitting idly on the sidelines every Saturday.

Individual rankings: Ira (2); Gene (2); Aslan (5); Jeff (5); Corey (7).

No. 3 – Redshirt senior offensive lineman Devontay Love-Taylor

His versatility, his experience, his leadership and his intellect make him one of the most important players on the FSU roster heading into the fall. Last year, Love-Taylor wasn’t just the best offensive lineman on the Florida State team, he was one of the better ones in the conference. He wound up playing seven games for the Seminoles in 2020 before missing the final two with a season-ending injury.

Love-Taylor played two games at right tackle, one at right guard and four more at left tackle for an FSU offense that actually featured one of the best rushing attacks in the ACC. The former FIU transfer was invaluable up front for the Seminoles, even helping to call out protections to his younger teammates through the first two months of the season. He figures to be one of the most important players on the Seminoles’ roster again in 2021.

Individual rankings: Gene (3); Aslan (3); Jeff (3); Ira (4); Corey (5).

No. 2 — Redshirt senior defensive end Jermaine Johnson

Last year, the pass rush was practically non-existent for the Florida State defense. The Seminoles’ defensive ends recorded a total of just three sacks in nine games — and they all came from one player, Janarius Robinson. Jermaine Johnson could change that in a big way. The UGA transfer had five sacks by himself for the Bulldogs last season despite playing less than 50 percent of the reps. And in the spring, he often looked unblockable, proving to be a force against the pass and run.

What Johnson could provide for the Seminoles is almost immeasurable. A defensive end who can actually create consistent pressure on the quarterback could change the entire dynamic of the FSU defense, which struggled mightily against any and all offenses in 2020. It would help the defensive backs, it would help the fellow linemen, it would help the entire team. Johnson has a chance, if he’s as good as he looked in the spring, to be one of the better defensive ends in the conference and make a major impact for the Seminoles.

Individual rankings: Gene (1); Corey (2); Aslan (2); Jeff (2); Ira (3).

No. 1 — Redshirt senior quarterback McKenzie Milton

The reason he is ranked at the top of this list is simple: We know what his ceiling looks like. For two years, Milton was one of THE best passers in the United States. During his time at UCF, he accounted for 9,761 yards of total offense and 92 touchdowns. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2017 and finished his career at UCF on a 23-game winning streak. There isn’t a more accomplished quarterback in the country than Milton.

The problem, of course, is that it’s been almost three years since he played in a college football game. Milton seemed to struggle through the first couple of weeks of spring practice for FSU, which isn’t surprising considering he was coming off of a devastating knee injury that required multiple surgeries. But near the end of the spring, Milton seemed to find himself, and he shined in the spring game. If Milton can win the job and be relatively close to the same quarterback who shined for Central Florida a few years back, he could have an immense and immediate impact for the Florida State offense and the Florida State program as a whole. He could be one of the most impactful players in the entire country.

Individual rankings: Corey (1); Ira (1); Aslan (1); Jeff (1); Gene (4).


Talk about this story with other Florida State football fans in the Tribal Council