After the departure of Auden Tate and Ryan Izzo to the NFL, Florida State looks to a very unproven WR core for answers in 2018. Willie Taggart took five wide receivers in this signing class, proving the need for depth at this key position.
Each one of the receivers on FSU’s roster can be organized into three groups.
Nyqwan Murray led Florida State in receiving last season and will be the leader among this group. The senior wideout is returning from an injury that kept him sidelined for most of the spring. Murray had 40 catches, 604 yards, and four touchdowns to his name last season.
DJ Matthews has been receiving rave reviews all spring and summer and has been a popular pick to break out in 2018. Matthews possesses traits that are coveted in Taggart’s offensive scheme, speed being chief among them. Shifty and agile, Matthews could blossom into an explosive play-maker.
One thing that Nyqwan Murray and DJ Matthews have in common is size. Or rather, the lack thereof. Neither receiver stands taller than six feet or weighs more than 200 pounds. However, fellow receiver Keith Gavin is a sturdy 6’3, 225 pounds. Gavin is a sensible pairing with two smaller receivers, offering whichever QB Taggart picks a larger, more physical target. These three should comprise the top three leaders in yards in some order this season.
Round out the top four of the receiver group is Tamorrion Terry. Still just a redshirt freshman, Terry is towering for WR at 6’4. Despite being skinny at just under 200 pounds, Terry is a legitimate threat due to his speed. If you hop over to Terry’s senior highlights and skip to the 25-second mark, there’s a play that displays just what kind of speed Terry possess, not to mention hustle.
One wildcard on the roster to consider is George Campbell. A man all alone in this category, Campbell was once a coveted 5-star recruit. Coming out of Tarpon Springs, Florida, he was the number three wide receiver in America. He sat out 2016 with an abdominal injury, exercising the medical redshirt. After playing in the first six games of 2017, Campbell re-aggravated his injury, ending his season. If he can finally stay healthy, he would be a welcome contributor to this unproven group.
The young guys
The rest of the wide receiver roster is made up of guys who have high hopes in garnet and gold but aren’t quite ready. Of them, five are freshmen, two are new to wide receiver after coming in at a different position and one is a recent transfer.
Whether it is James Blackman or Deondre Francois come week one, the offense will still run through the dynamic duo of Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick. However, whoever is under center will need to find dependable targets to alleviate some of the pressure from the running back tandem. This position group is one of the biggest question marks, but just may end up being one of the most talented when it is all said and done.