Without question, the leading offensive storyline this spring for the Florida State Seminoles is who the starting quarterback will be. That pretty much goes without saying. What is not a question, however, is that Sophomore Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin needs to make the strides towards being the breakout star that we all expect him to be in order for the Seminoles’ offense to be dynamic.
Coming into the 2012 season, the hype and intrigue surrounding Benjamin was evident. At 6’6″ and 243 lbs., with speed and versatility to match, that hype was more than understandable.
With no redshirt for his first season, Benjamin would have the opportunity immediately in 2012 to show off what he can do with those tangibles. Finishing the season with 30 receptions for 495 yards and 4 TDs, there were flashes of brilliance at times. On the other hand, there were also exposed areas of improvement, as there are with all freshmen that hit the field right off the bat.
With that first season under his belt now, it’s time for young Kelvin to do a little bit of maturing and realize his role in the FSU offense. Benjamin’s main responsibility this season is to be the best safety valve that he can be for whomever in under center for the Noles. That 6’6″ size makes him the perfect jump ball target in times of duress.
Now, focusing on the areas of improvement, when that jump ball is hauled his way, he needs to catch it. There were a few times last year where the freshman monster went up for the ball at its highest point, yet didn’t come down with said pigskin. This cannot happen. Towering over virtually every defender that you’re matched up against, fulfilling this responsibility is crucial. It’s actually especially crucial in helping build the confidence and trust of whomever the signal caller may be.
Jimbo Fisher and the FSU offensive coaching staff are equally as responsible for making sure that Benjamin makes the proper impact as he himself is. For example, Benjamin actually carried the ball as a rusher twice last season and both runs went for double digits. Jimbo needs to utilize that versatility, go to the chalkboard, and start brainstorming more ways like this to get the ball in Benjamin’s hands as much as possible.
In an offensive scheme focused a lot on the QBs and RBs, Benjamin is a proverbial wild card on every snap to have the ball in his hands, be it through the air or handed into his breadbasket. If a game plan to make this come to fruition can be properly drawn up and implemented, the Seminoles’ offensive firepower could surprise many in the nation this upcoming season.
Kelvin Benjamin’s nickname is Optimus Prime, the character from the famed ‘Transformers’ cartoon/movie series. This nickname was given to him due to his freakish abilities to perform his craft. However, Optimus Prime’s most important trait was leadership. It’s time to step up Kelvin and be the offensive leader Florida State needs.