Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
Next up: No. 27 Chad Abram
What he's done: Abram arrived at Florida State as a defensive back, but he made the switch to fullback after his freshman campaign. The move had little immediate impact on his playing time, and for the past two seasons the bulk of his work has come on special teams, where he's been among FSU's most versatile players. As a runner, however, Abram has just six career carries for 25 yards.
Where he's at: After three years toiling in the shadows, Abram's role is about to get a lot bigger. With stalwart fullback Lonnie Pryor gone to the NFL, Abram will step into a role that has disappeared from many offenses around the country but has flourished under Jimbo Fisher. Last year Pryor was a key cog in FSU's game plan, rushing for 376 yards and eight TDs and catching another 13 passes for 117 yards, while earning MVP honors in the Orange Bowl. His departure leaves an immense void for Fisher, and Abram will be asked to pick up the bulk of the slack.
What's to come: It would be a complete shock if Abram managed to even approach Pryor's 2012 production this season, and Fisher has already admitted replacing his longtime fullback will be a team effort. He'll use more two-tight end sets, let James Wilder Jr. work in as a lead blocker at times and use Nick O'Leary as a halfback. But when FSU goes to its bread-and-butter sets, it'll be Abram handling Pryor's old role, and Fisher has steadfastly insisted that the senior is ready for the role. He praised Abram's running ability (which included 43 yards and a TD as a halfback in the spring game) and said Abram may have the best hands of anyone in FSU's backfield. None of that is likely to add up to the same numbers Pryor accumulated last year, but it may mean that the vacancy on FSU's offense won't be quite as significant as many expected.