After a rough 2018 season which saw their streak of 36 consecutive seasons with a bowl game appearance snapped, the Florida State Seminoles had five players selected to an All-ACC team by the coaches and media.
The Seminoles finished with a 5-7 record, which is the first losing record and worst finish since finishing 5-6 in 1976 — Bobby Bowden‘s first season as head coach. But even with the poor performance as a team, including losing to in-state rival Florida Gators in the final game of 2018, there were still some individuals who stood out throughout the season.
The ‘Noles were led by defensive end Brian Burns making First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference. Nyqwan Murray, the team’s leading wide receiver, made the Third-Team All-ACC along with Demarcus Christmas at defensive tackle. Redshirt freshman receiver Tamorrion Terry and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson were also part of the Honorable Mention squad.
With how bad Florida State looked at times this season, it was tough to imagine more than a handful being recognized on All-ACC teams after the season. Brian Burns and Nyqwan Murray were the immediate standouts. Terry was great and broke records for a freshman receiver at Florida State.
With Christmas and Wilson each making an all-conference team along with Burns, they only trail Clemson, which has all four of their starting defensive lineman on a team. Three are part of the first team along with Burns. As a defensive front, the Seminoles were solid this season stopping the run. They may have given up the 48th-most rushing yards in the country on the season, but that was also on the 25th-most carries against them. On the season, they were the 23rd-best defense at yards given up per carry.
But were they the only ‘Noles who deserved recognition? No. Were there any who should have made the cut? Absolutely.
1. Tre’ McKitty (Tight End)
The sophomore tight end did not have a great season by any means. His stats weren’t eye-popping for a player who seems like they could be jumping out as a playmaker. But the numbers he put up were still some of the best at his position in the conference.
Of the three tight ends to earn honorable mention honors, McKitty had more catches than all three, more yards than two, and the same touchdowns as two.
Tre’ McKitty’s stats: 26 catches, 256 yards, two touchdowns
1st team: Tommy Sweeney (BC): 32 catches, 348 yards, three touchdowns
2nd team: Brevin Jordan (UM): 30 catches, 275 yards, four touchdowns
3rd team: Daniel Helm (Duke): 22 catches, 248 yards, two touchdowns
HM: George Aston (Pitt): 15 catches, 68 yards, one touchdown / six rushes, 10 yards, one touchdown
HM: Dalton Keene (VT): 19 catches, 302 yards, three touchdowns
HM: Evan Butts (Virg): 15 catches, 129 yards, two touchdowns
The tight end position is difficult to judge by numbers because that doesn’t take into account how good of a blocker they may be. McKitty is not a great inline blocker at the position, but looking at receiving numbers alone, this is a head-scratcher. He obviously put up much better numbers than at least a few of these guys.
2. Logan Tyler (Punter)
Only one punter in the entire country was asked to kick more often than Tyler. He kicked 11 more times than the next punter in the ACC, picked up the most punting yards, and was third in the conference in average among players who had multiple kicks. He was asked to do it more often and that should be recognized. He punted the ball almost three times more than the second-team punter and averaged almost a full yard more per punt than the third-team punter.
3. Hamsah Nasirildeen (Safety)
Nasirildeen led the team in tackles this season and was ninth in the ACC in total tackles. Of the linebackers who are on All-ACC teams — 13 of them — only five had more tackles. It comes down to more than just total tackles, obviously, since Nasirildeen had no sacks, only half a tackle for loss, and one interception. He was only making tackles past the line of scrimmage. But tackling the ball carrier is the most important part of being a run-stopper.
It is odd for one of the most prolific tacklers in the conference is beat out by someone who is only 40th in the conference in tackles. But he didn’t make the sexy tackles I guess. Without sacks and big tackles in the backfield, he doesn’t show up to voters.