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Can the FSU offensive line protect Deondre Francois in Spring Game?

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Five things to ponder while watching the FSU spring game.

1. The kids are all right: A lot of eyes will be on freshman running back Cam Akers as he tries to relieve much of the loss of all-everything Dalvin Cook. Akers is one of several Seminoles who have enrolled early, giving a chance for immediate help. Can Akers, a high school quarterback, be an instant success? Isn’t that the best kind?

2. The James Gang rides again: Safety Derwin James returns after missing most of last season due to injury. James was considered the best Seminole defender when he went down, and it took several games for the Noles to adjust.

3. The quarterback attack is back: Quarterback Deondre Francois won’t have Cook behind him, but on his own, Francois led five FSU comebacks last year. He’ll have to be very good very fast with Alabama looming in the opening game.

4. The Great Wall: Last year, FSU’s offensive line was sketchy. This year, it needs to protect Francois early. It was 58th in the NCAA with 26 sacks allowed last year, and Francois took a beating even when he got passes away. If the Seminoles’ young backs have a chance, they’ll need holes.

5. Is anyone open?: Who is Francois going to throw to? FSU lost its top four receivers from a year ago. Are Nyqwan Murray and Auden Tate the answers? We’ll see.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit [email protected]

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