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For the past 20 years of my life watching sports, I have seen a ton of talent. Some so special they get inducted into their pro sports Hall of Fame. Some times it’s instant and other times it may take a while to notice but when it’s all over, the mission of the fans remembering your name has been accomplished.
As the 2017-2018 college football season starts to get underway, football fans across America start to hear potential household names. Mostly upperclassmen, freshmen rarely get the spotlight. Now, of course, there have been exceptions to the rule. One name college football fans should get familiar with is Cam Akers.
The freshman Florida State (FSU) running back has been compared to some of the greats and he hasn’t carried the ball one time in a meaningful college game. But that doesn’t stop some of the college football experts from singing his praises.
Now of course if you’re a true college football fan, then you know Akers is a legit prospect. Ranked as the top running back and second best prospect in the country by many recruiting services, the Clinton, Mississippi native received a ton of individual accolades before arriving on campus.
Blessed with good size speed and an elite skill-set for the running back position, Akers couldn’t help but draw comparisons to former FSU running back Dalvin Cook. Cook, who was selected in the second round of this past NFL Draft, made contributions during his true freshman campaign in 2014.
Unlike Cook, Akers will have a more prominent role his freshman campaign as I predict he will be the starting running back this year. Don’t believe me, find the FSU spring game online if you can.
Of course, he may make mistakes. You expect that he is a freshman. If this FSU team plans to compete for a CFB playoff spot, they need to be able to run the ball. Plus, Akers will be a big part of that game plan for head coach Jimbo Fisher.
The excitement around Akers entering this season may not be on par with former LSU Tiger running back Leonard Fournette. Remember, Fournette was being regarded as the missing link to bring LSU back to dominance. While he had an awesome career at LSU, he didn’t lived up to all the hype, as far as team success goes.
Akers first test comes against Alabama. The legendary Crimson Tide defense under Nick Saban has been nothing but great in his tenure as head coach. This will be an interesting starting point for the young running back. It could go either way. Alabama finished as the second best total defense statistically last year in the NCAA. With five returning starters, Alabama should pick up where it left off last year defensively.
Now keep in mind Akers is not the only freshman stud running back FSU has.
Running mate Kahlan Laborn is no slouch himself. Laborn doesn’t plan on playing second fiddle to anybody and is expected to have a great college career as well.
Akers should make the margin for error slim the more he gets adjusted to big time college football. Now with the rich history of running back making the transition from Saturday to Sunday, Akers has the chance to be the very best.
Only one running back has finished in top five Heisman voting from FSU (Warrick Dunn, 1996). The program has only produced three winners of the prestigious award, all quarterbacks (Charlie Ward 1993, Chris Weinke 2000, Jameis Winston 2013).
If it’s any indication that Akers is headed on the right track, you can look at what some of his teammates have said about him. Players and coaches spoke highly of his play this past spring in a piece written in the OrlandoSentinel.com by Curt Weiler.
If it’s any indication that Akers is headed on the right track. You can look at what some of his teammates have said about him. players and coaches spoke highly of his play this past spring in a piece written by OrlandoSentinel.com, Curt Weiler.
“I feel like his production will be better than his talent and that’s a good attribute to have. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”-Deondre Francois, Quarterback
“He’s still learning, but you can see the potential.”-Jacques Patrick, Running back
Although he is penciled in as a running back, Akers can line up at multiple positions making him that more dangerous. The future is very bright for this young man.
All he has to do is stay focus and deliver. Easier said than done, but mark my words, Cam Akers is the real deal.