Why FSU football should be thankful for the time with Cam Akers

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Cam Akers #3 of the Florida State Seminoles warms up prior to their game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Cam Akers #3 of the Florida State Seminoles warms up prior to their game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Cam Akers career with FSU football has come to an end – so what kind of legacy is he leaving behind from his time with the Seminoles?

As many of you probably know by now, Cam Akers time with FSU football has officially come to a close. In a tweet this past weekend, the junior running back thanked Seminole nation for the past three seasons while in the same breath declaring for the NFL draft and forgoing his senior season as well as the upcoming bowl game.

I am obviously bummed I’ll never get to see him don the garnet and gold again, but by all means go get your money young man! I will pretty much never begrudge a player for forgoing any remaining eligibility for a chance at making NFL money.

For most people, that is a life changing pay-check and for a kid from Clinton, Mississippi, it is an opportunity to create generational wealth for his family. So yea, really not that upset that Cam is skipping the Frosted Flakes bowl game.

Florida State Seminoles Football
Florida State Seminoles Football /

Florida State Seminoles Football

But, after playing behind three god-awful offensive lines, two different head coaches, some of the worst teams in FSU history and a very anticlimactic ending to his career, one can’t help but wonder how history will remember Cam Akers’ time in Tallahassee. An obvious talent with all the ability in the world, yet never able to fully realize his potential due to extenuating circumstances, outside of his control.

I mean it really isn’t his fault that the coach that recruited him (Jimbo Fisher) left after Cam’s first season at Florida State. It’s not Cam’s fault that as a former high-school quarterback, he struggled to learn a flawed new offensive scheme under a deeply flawed new coach – and it sure as hell isn’t Cam Akers’ fault for the lack of running lanes that never seemed to be available to him during his time as a Seminole.

Cam Akers got dealt awful hands time and time again at Florida State, it’s just that simple. As a ‘Nole fan, this obviously pains me. As a Cam Akers fan, it flat out breaks your heart to see a young man as talented as him, forced to endure what he had to.

All those who watched Akers this past season were in for a spectacle on just about every Saturday that he suited up. Almost never going down at first contact, Akers brought a physical running style in 2019, consistently falling forward and bringing the contact to the defender. Even behind a porous offensive line that can only be described as sorry, Akers was somehow able to muster over 1,100 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. He also accounted for four more touchdowns and 225 more yards a receiver not to mention some quality reps at quarterback.

All in all, Akers finished his career with 2,875 rushing yards and 27 rushing touchdowns, along with 486 receiving yards and seven more touchdowns. Basically, in his three seasons, he averaged over 1,000 scrimmage yards and more than ten touchdowns per year; not too shabby considering the dumpster fire he was forced to run behind.

He broke Dalvin Cook’s freshman rushing record and finished 6th all-time in school history for career rushing yards in just three seasons. Again, just remarkable when you consider the circumstances.

Easily one of the most talented backs to ever come through Florida State, Cam Akers lived up to all of the billing. Yet, with all that he did accomplish, for me there is still this deep and unescapable feeling that we didn’t see everything this young man has to offer. In a completely selfish way, I almost feel like we got cheated or jipped.

I share this same sentiment about another former ‘Nole, Derwin James just for different reasons. Derwin’s time in Tallahassee was just unluckily marred by injury. Cam’s tenure was just plagued by ineptitude from his coaches and his teammates. A much worse fate if you ask me.

Even though he will probably never be considered the best running-back to come through Florida State, those who witnessed Cam Akers suit up for the Seminoles know what they saw. They saw a talented, determined and physical ball carrier from start to finish. They saw a player carry multiple awful teams as far as he could take them. They saw a player do everything he was asked of. They saw a young man completely embody what it means to be a Florida State Seminole.

He is currently the number four or five running-back prospect in the NFL Draft (considering which publication you look at). I imagine his stock will only rise when teams test him at the combine and his pro-day.  Regardless, he will probably be a third or fourth round pick; and a bonafide steal for the team lucky enough to draft him. He will no doubt add his name to the long list of FSU running backs to carve out a career in the NFL.

Cam Akers left it all out there for the Seminoles every chance he got. And for that Cam, I thank you.