Heading into the 2017 season, the Florida State running back position will look a lot different with Dalvin Cook no longer behind the line of scrimmage. As Cook enters the NFL Draft, Florida State will get an early look at the other running backs on its depth chart and all of the promising young talent during spring practice.
Returning is junior running back Jacques Patrick, who is coming off a modest season behind Cook which saw him rush for 350 yards on just 61 carries. Patrick rushed for a career high 124 yards against South Florida in 2016. His 124 career carries are more than every other running back on the spring roster combined. Patrick is the presumed frontrunner for the starting spot in 2017 after sitting behind Dalvin Cook for two years.
Redshirt senior Ryan Green is another experienced running back returning to Florida State for 2017. Green had a promising start to his career before he was sidelined for the entire 2015 season following a preseason shoulder injury that required surgery. This past season, the former four-star recruit ran for 75 yards on 11 carries, and has rushed 50 times in his career for 269 yards.
The last of the veteran core is senior Jonathan Vickers. The Quincy, Fla. native only attempted five rushes this past season for 44 yards, but has 29 total carries for his career for 158 yards. Vickers will probably not see the field much, but will add experience to the young, talented running backs on the roster.
One of those younger backs is sophomore Amir Rasul, a former four-star recruit. Rasul only recorded six carries for 46 yards as a freshman, but he has shown that he is capable of keeping up at the collegiate level, recording a 4.51 40-yard dash while still in high school.
The most anticipated addition to Florida State in years, running back Cam Akers, will participate in spring camp after enrolling early in January. Akers is the highest rated commit to come to FSU since Mario Edwards Jr. in 2012. The Mississippi native was ranked the No. 2 overall prospect and No. 1 running back in the final 247 composite rankings. Over his four years in high school at quarterback, Akers recorded 8,140 passing yards and 5,103 rushing yards with a total of 149 touchdowns responsible for —- 78 through the air and 71 on the ground. In his senior year alone, Akers accounted for 5,233 all purpose yards and 65 total touchdowns.
Akers could see some playing time early. Don’t expect him to start in Florida State’s 2017 opener against Alabama, but he could very well see more playing time as the season goes on. Dalvin Cook didn’t even start his first six games at Florida State.
The Florida State spring depth chart at running back has the perfect blend of veteran leadership and promising young talent. It will be a fun group to pay attention to all spring and including the 2017 Spring Game.