When it comes to Florida State, there is so much talent that it's almost impossible to comprehend it all. At surface level, it seems like there are just big-name players like Jameis Winston or Lamarcus Joyner, but the entire team is oozing with talent.
Where the talent is most apparent is at running back, where FSU has quietly assembled what may very well be the best group in the nation with Devonta Freeman, James Wilder Jr. and Karlos Williams Sr. All three are capable of playing in the NFL, and all three consistently step up for the Seminoles when their numbers are called.
|Florida State running backs through nine games|
|Yards||Yards per carry||Touchdowns|
|James Wilder Jr.||317||5.7||5|
None of them are in the top 50 for rushing yards, but that's more of a result of the constant rotation of the three than an illustration of their talent. Each of the three running backs brings something different to the table, and the Seminoles make sure to utilize their talents to the fullest.
Junior Devonta Freeman is the most pure running back of the three, which is why he finds himself receiving the bulk of the carries in the FSU backfield. Averaging 72 yards per game with 650 yards on the season and five games to go, Freeman is on pace to hit 1,011 yards this year, which would make him Florida State's first 1,000-yard rusher since Warrick Dunn in 1996.
His best game this season wasn't his most productive by pure stats but just the manner in which he made his presence known. Playing against the Miami Hurricanes, Freeman's hometown team that failed to recruit him as heavily as it should've, the star running back imposed his will, rushing for only 79 yards but still getting two rushing touchdowns and a receiving score off a screen pass.
Florida State's biggest name in the rushing game is James Wilder Jr., who's more a robot built for football than a human being. At 6'2", 229 pounds, Wilder is a tank who used to play both ways for Plant High School in Tampa, starring also at linebacker. At Florida State he's used only as a ball-carrier, where he's developed a reputation for demolishing any defender who dare step in his path.
He seemed to be prime for a breakout junior year where he would make NFL scouts salivate at the thought of drafting him, but injuries have hindered him throughout the year. First, Wilder fought through a hurt shoulder but later suffered a concussion in the Clemson game.
Wilder finally looks as if he's playing healthy, and if he can impress in these final five games, there's a good chance that he'll head off to the greener pastures of professional football, a destination he's expressed desire in for a long time.
Of the three running backs, Karlos Williams Sr. is perhaps the least experienced. However, he also might be the one with the most potential. After being used as a defensive back in his first two seasons at Florida State, Williams finally made the switch to running back, a position he excelled at in high school.
He started his new life on offense in the second game of the season and scored a touchdown on his first-ever carry. As he's put together the nuances of the position, he's gotten more carries in significant time for the 'Noles. Next season, after Williams has put a spring and summer into learning the position, he could end up as one of the top running backs in college football.
It's almost unfair that the Seminoles have all three of these in their possession, and without a doubt these three make an already terrifying team that much more scary. That's a huge reason why Florida State finds itself four games away from a berth in the BCS National Championship.
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