TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) - The Florida State football team lost eleven players to this year's NFL draft. Head Coach Jimbo Fisher said he's not worried though, he's more excited about seeing the younger guys step up to fill the empty holes.
The Noles are still picked to finish second in the Atlantic Division behind Clemson, who are picked to win the ACC. Since 2009, the winner of the Clemson-Florida State rivalry went on to play for the ACC title. Last year, the Noles won in overtime, with a Sean Maguire led offense.
Despite the Florida State losses to the draft, expect this game to still be all the hype.
"Every Saturday we play them it's going to be a dogfight," said Clemson defensive tackle DJ Reader. "We're out there, we're kicking and screaming, trying to win. It's exciting to play in that game. I feel bad for people who don't get to play in that game."
"Every rivalry out there in college football, you know the date, you know the time, and you know the network," he said at the ACC Kickoff this week. "They're always on the same time, same date, same network. I think this game is really evolving into that. That's something we need to think about. I think it builds the brand, not just of those two teams, but of the conference."
Florida State and Clemson are set to play each other November the 7th. Until then, the Noles will have to fill in some holes on the offensive line. Four of the five starts are now signed on with NFL teams, but with a lot of guys waiting in the wings for their opportunity.
"I think the standard that's been set by the previous groups for these young guys to watch, learn, and experience I think were very critical," said Fisher. "We are a very talented football team. Hopefully they can take the work ethic and demeanor of the previous teams and how they prepare and got ready to play and be able to take it to the field."
Fall camp starts August 5th for Florida State.