There’s no denying the exceptional talent level of Florida State’s 2017 early enrollee class. Three of the seven new Seminoles finished as or were five-star prospects late in the recruiting process. The undeniable gem of this group is Cam Akers, the top running back and No. 2 overall player in the 2017 recruiting class.
With Dalvin Cook leaving, plenty of playing time at running back will be available entering the 2017 season. Akers, however, will have to overcome learning a new position while also adjusting to the expectations of playing at a major college program.
The transition from playing in high school to the college game is far from easy. For Akers, it has been even more complicated as he has gone from playing quarterback at Clinton (Miss.) High School to running back at the next level.
“It’s small things, like taking handoffs consistently,” Jacques Patrick, who made an identical transition coming in to Florida State, said of the challenges of moving to running back. “I had a problem with that because I was used to playing quarterback, and you have to get used to getting in a rhythm with the quarterbacks.”
By all accounts, however, Akers’ transition is going very well.
“I’ve been really pleased with him. I think he’s done a real nice job,” Jimbo Fisher said of the early enrollee. “He’s learning, but you can see the flashes when he runs, when he catches. He’s very natural in a lot of the things he does.”
“You see the improvements each and every day,” Patrick added. “The guy is going to be really good.”
In addition to Akers’ instant impact on offense, he has quickly broken into Florida State’s kick return rotation, occasionally working alongside Derwin James in a dream scenario for Florida State fans.
“Very natural returner,” Fisher said of Akers. “Really good ball skills, judges the ball really well.”
“Cam’s doing everything,” James said. “He can play quarterback, he can play receiver, I feel like he can even play defense. He’s a great fit to this team.”
Exactly how substantial Akers’ early impact will be remains quite up in the air. His talent is undeniable, but the Florida State running back corps will be perhaps the Seminoles’ deepest position group in 2017. That being said, the picture may begin to clear up a bit as spring wraps up. FSU fans can get their first public glimpse of Akers and what he brings to the table will be in just a few weeks at the FSU Spring Game on April 8th.