We’ve discussed the FSU football secondary and offensive line with ESPN’s David Hale over the past few weeks.
He has both groups in the top tier of the ACC, but where does he rank FSU running backs?
I’m glad you asked.
FSU has had one of the best rushing attacks in the ACC during the Mike Norvell era, no matter the talent level at the position.
Hale went into detail on the position group on Twitter and provided the following nuggets and insight:
Obviously, most of the focus will and should be on Trey Benson, FSU’s leading rusher from a year ago. Benson toted the rushing attack in the final seven games after an up-and-down start to the season. However, once Treshaun Ward went down with an injury,
Benson’s production skyrocketed, averaging 15 carries and 98 yards per game. Also, six of his nine rushing touchdowns came in that span. Lawrence Toafili also saw his activity increase once Ward got injured, averaging 12 carries and 53 rushing yards in a four-game span in the middle of the season. Toafili is more of a threat in the passing game but can run between the tackles when needed.
The other unknown x-factor for FSU in 2023 will be redshirt freshman Rodney Hill. He’ll look to replace Treshaun Ward in the offense. Hill has everything you want in a running back but lacks the experience. He played in four games, finishing the season with 27 carries for 144 rushing yards and one touchdown.
Benson will likely be a early NFL Draft selection if he continues the trend we saw for much of last year. Toafili and Hill have talent, but I think Hale has to give a head nod to what Norvell’s offense do in the run game, regardless of who’s back there or what the offensive line looks like.
The 2023 FSU offensive line should be the best and deepest version we’ve seen in over a decade, and that should factor into how productive these running backs will be this season.