Photo courtesy of wlpearce.com/Florida State athletics
Despite losing NFL talent in Cam Akers, Florida State had great success running the ball in 2020. The Seminoles had a deep group of rushers alongside an improved offensive line and a scrambling quarterback.
The Seminoles had five players put up over 300 yards on the ground, all averaging more than five yards per carry.
Let’s look at the key players to continuing FSU’s success at running back:
The Seminoles return a stable of rushers from last year, starting with Texas A&M transfer Jashaun Corbin. Corbin led the position in rushing, tallying 401 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 19 receptions for 115 yards through the air. Corbin is expected to keep his starting role as FSU’s three-down back.
The ‘Noles lost a large chunk of their production when running back La’Damian Webb announced he was transferring to Troy this offseason. Looking to fill the role he left behind is redshirt freshman Lawrance Toafili. The four-star recruit was electric in his first season at FSU, tallying 476 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on an impressive 9.6 yards per carry.
Behind Toafili is a rotation of Treshaun Ward, Deonte Sheffield, and Corey Wren. All have been active in special teams, but have had trouble fitting into the rotation of rushers. With Webb gone, these three will look to challenge Toafili and make a difference this year.
With Webb out and Corbin handling the majority of rushing duties, Florida State needed another power back in the rotation. To fill this hole, head coach Mike Norvell looked to the transfer portal, and the portal provided. Auburn transfer D.J. Williams stepped in and has made it obvious he is ready to play.
Williams was in the contest to be a starter at Auburn before dealing with injury, and he has looked good in camps so far. The redshirt sophomore gained 599 yards and five touchdowns in his two seasons at Auburn, Williams started three games and appeared in 19 for the Tigers.
Williams looks to fill the power back role for FSU, stepping in to handle short yardage duties and bully defenses.