FSU Football: Best FSU RB tandems of the past two decades

Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) runs out of the grip of a defender. The Florida State Seminoles host the Syracuse Orange for the 2019 homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.Fsu V Syracuse1582
Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) runs out of the grip of a defender. The Florida State Seminoles host the Syracuse Orange for the 2019 homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.Fsu V Syracuse1582 /

FSU football has had some great running back tandems dating all the way back to 1990. Bobby Bowden did a good job of making sure he had depth at the position, and in most seasons, there was a feature back, but in some cases, he used two guys to make sure the following season running back would have playing experience. Some of the groups below are ones I enjoyed watching over the years.

Best RB Tandems since 1990

1990 – Amp Lee/Edgar Bennett

Thoughts of this group: 

This is about when I started to follow FSU, and these two guys were fun to watch. I grew up watching these two guys, and they were a great 1-2 punch. Lee had the big play ability, and Bennett was the bruiser back to get those tough yards.

2004 – Lorenzo Booker/Leon Washington

Thoughts of this group:

Booker was a 5-star RB recruit coming out of high school and the #1 all-purpose back in the class of 2002. Washington was actually recruited as a DB but would move to RB when he arrived at FSU. The two were impressive as Washington led the team in rushing, but Booker shined with his speed and quickness.

2006 – Lorenzo Booker/Antone Smith

Thoughts of this group:

We know Booker’s ability, but adding another 5-star RB in Smith to complement him. Smith was not your traditional back had a nice combination of speed and power.

2012 – Devonte Freeman/James Wilder Jr.

Thoughts of this group:

Wilder Jr was the No. 2 RB in the class of 2011, and he just had the look of a LB who could punish defenders. Freeman was a complete back with great play-making ability. Both guys split carries evenly that year, and Wilder got most of the goal-line work. Freeman would go on to have the better career, but Wilder sure looked the part.

2014 – Dalvin Cook/Karlos Williams

Thoughts of this group:

Dalvin Cook was the No. 2 RB in the 2014 class, and he had a remarkable freshman season showcasing his big play ability and getting over 1000 yards. Williams was more of the short-yardage guy and got more TDs, but Cook was electric.

2017 – Cam Akers/Jacques Patrick

Thoughts of this group:

Cam Akers was another dynamic player who was a top RB coming out of high school. Similar to Dalvin Cook had that big run ability and could break lose at any moment. Patrick was a big back who also was a 5-star and highly ranked out of high school. Betweenthe two, they combined for over 1,700 yards and 14 TD’s.

2021 – James Corbin/Lawrence Toafili/TreShaun Ward

Thoughts of this group:

Corbin was a transfer from Texas A&M who came in and grabbed the starting role, Ward was a walk-on player who went on scholarship and made his presence known, but Toafili was also getting started and had great agility and pass-catching skills. These three combined for over 1500 yards and 12 TD’s, and they would have had more, but QB Jordan Travis ran for 500+ yards as well.

2022 – Trey Benson/Lawrence Toafili/TreShaun Ward

Thoughts of this group:

Like Corbin, Benson transferred in from Oregon after an ACL tear derailed his career early. He rebounded quite nicely in getting almost 1000 yards (990). Ward and Toafili each carved out their own role and complemented Benson. The trio scored 21 TD’s and helped FSU win 10 games and get back on track.

My Top 3

  1. 2017 – Cam Akers/Jacques Patrick
  2. 2022 – Trey Benson/Lawrence Toafili/TreShaun Ward
  3. 1990 – Amp Lee/Edgar Bennett

Where does this year’s group fall

Trey Benson/Lawrence Toafili/Rodney Hill – Once again there is so much to like here. Benson looks phenomenal this off-season, and I expect him to be tops in the nation and a possibly top RB in the draft. Lawrence Toafili continues to improve every year and has a vital role in the passing game.

Rodney Hill got a taste last season and will be effective this season. This tandem could produce the best numbers of all!

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