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FSU Spring Game: Five Players Who Made a Case for a Bigger Role athletics

The final score showed a 24-24 tie between the Garnet and Gold teams during Saturday’s Florida State spring game in Orlando, but among the FSU players, there were some big winners. Here are five players, who made their case for a more prominent role for the Seminoles in 2016:

Deondre Francois, QB
With Sean Maguire out, redshirt freshman Deondre Francois made a strong case for assuming the quarterback position on Saturday. Francois did have a couple of bad interceptions in the first half, but throughout the day, showed poise, accuracy and a strong arm. Francois finished 20-for-33 passing for 246 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Francois was also illusive with his feet, compiling 37 yards on the ground on six carries, which included a long of 25 yards.

Ryan Green, RB
After spending last spring in the secondary, Ryan Green showed Saturday that his move back to the backfield was a good one. Green rushed for a game-high 84 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries while leading all Seminoles with 125 yards from scrimmage. Green caught the ball well out of the backfield and ran with power. It’s not likely that any back on the roster will supplant Dalvin Cook, but Green showed that he could be a competent third down back, if nothing else.

Rick Leonard, T
Despite an outstanding spring last year at the defensive end position, Rick Leonard was moved to the offensive line this spring. Playing right tackle for the Gold team, Leonard more than held his own on Saturday and was a big reason for Francois’ success. Roderick Johnson will man the left tackle spot for FSU, but Leonard might have surpassed Brock Ruble as the front-runner to start on the opposite side.

Marcus Lewis, CB
Saturday was a good day for a number of Florida State’s young defensive backs, but in coverage, Marcus Lewis shone brightest. Lewis spent much of the day matched up with last year’s leading receiver Travis Rudolph, but more than held his own. Lewis tallied three tackles, but showed good technique and physicality on the outside. Rarely were Garnet receivers able to get much separation from Lewis, either short or deep.

Auden Tate, WR
Fans have wondered for a while now which one of Florida State’s big, young receivers would emerge as a legitimate weapon. Auden Tate, a sophomore, may have answered that question on Saturday. Tate caught six passes for 100 yards, both game-highs, and a pair of touchdowns for the Gold team in Saturday’s spring game. At 6-5 and 220 pounds, Tate is a big target, but showed the ability to get behind defensive backs on Saturday and some shiftiness out in open space.

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