Photo courtesy of Ross Obley/Florida State athletics
Despite showing improvement on offense last year, Florida State still had one of the worst passing attacks in the country.
The Seminoles will have improved both along the line and at quarterback, so the pass catchers will need to begin producing.
Let’s take a look at the impact players for the Seminole passing game:
The Seminoles had a rough time last year in terms of wide receiver play. Miscommunications on routes led to unnecessary interceptions, and the group had difficulty avoiding costly drops.
The ‘Noles are lacking in elite receiving talent, so the group will need to step up and show growth in a big way this year.
The Seminoles return a plethora of young talent with a couple of veterans leading the way. The most experienced returning players on the roster are redshirt juniors Ontaria “Pokey” Wilson and Keyshawn Helton.
Wilson was the most productive of FSU’s wideouts last year, tallying 382 yards and two touchdowns. Helton was working through his first season since suffering season-ending knee damage in 2019. He still caught two touchdowns with 119 yards to boot, but it remains to be seen if he can return to his pre-injury form.
Behind Helton and Wilson is an abundant amount of unproven talent. Jordan “Abusement Park” Young, Bryan Robinson, Kentron Poitier, Ja’Khi Douglas, and Darion Williamson will all be in close contention for playing time. All of these young guys have lots of potential but have yet to make a difference on the field.
Douglas has had a stellar fall camp, so he is perhaps the most likely to get significant burn this year. He could also be used some out of the backfield.
Head coach Mike Norvell has brought in some new faces to a receiving corps that desperately needs some plug-and-play talent.
Kansas transfer Andrew Parchment has the most potential to step into the No. 1 receiver role. He brought in 89 passes for 1,028 yards and nine touchdowns in his two years at Kansas, but suffered from the lack of elite quarterback talent. Parchment may be the deep threat that Florida State desperately needs after losing Tamorrion Terry.
Two more players who have potential to immediately contribute are true freshmen Malik McClain and Joshua Burrell.
McClain has freakish control and athleticism for his 6-foot-4 frame. He seems to be putting it all together in fall camp, so expect him to make a difference this year.
Burrell is a big, strong receiver who could easily figure in as a tight end if he was needed. His route running is crisp, too. Combine that with his speed, and he fits in well as a slot receiver.
Norvell’s offense is known for its playmakers, and that sentence rings true perhaps the most for his tight ends.
Last year the ‘Noles fielded a mostly unproven group, but the 2021 roster is locked and loaded.
Camren McDonald had somewhat of a breakout season last year. The redshirt junior was the Seminoles’ second-leading catcher, tallying 263 yards and two touchdowns on 23 receptions. McDonald has soft hands and solid athletic ability, so he will continue to be an asset to the offense.
Behind McDonald is Preston Daniel, Markeston Douglas, Carter Boatwright, and Wyatt Rector. These four will be solid role players in the offense, lending their skills to special teams, blocking, and sneaking out for a reception here and there.
Florida State brought in two new tight ends in Koby Gross and Jackson West. Gross was the third-ranked junior college tight end, per the 247Sports composite, and Norvell hopes he will contribute quickly.
West is a rare gem as he is a massive, willing blocker with good hands. He will push for playing time this year, as he is one of the most versatile players on FSU’s roster.
Although not a new player, this year is the first time UCLA transfer Jordan Wilson will see the field for FSU. He was sidelined before the season started last season with an Achilles tendon injury, but has bounced back this offseason. Wilson is massive, standing at 6-4 and 265 pounds. Look for him to make a huge impact on the offense this year.