FSU football: Malik Benson realizing his potential as elite playmaker?

The Next Great One?
Florida State Spring Football Practice
Florida State Spring Football Practice / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

FSU football coaches knew they needed help in the receiver room after losing two playmakers like Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman. They signed an outstanding high school class of receivers to develop to pair with the blue-chip guys they signed in 2023. However, they knew they needed at least one guy with experience and the potential to be a "goto" guy like Wilson and Coleman. The coaching staff took former No. 1 JUCO and Alabama transfer Malik Benson from the transfer portal in hopes he'd become that guy, and it looks like that calculated risk is paying off. Mike Norvell has spoken glowingly about Benson this spring, but the past few weeks have seen him speak more directly about Benson's potential. Norvell said Benson can be a "goto guy" and has the potential to play at an "elite" level.

Benson has made touchdown catches in both scrimmages this spring and seems to have good chemistry with DJ Uiagalelei. He's one of the players I'm most excited to see at Saturday's Spring Game a.k.a Seminole Showcase. I think Benson's effect will be felt even when he's not getting the ball once he establishes himself as a legitimate vertical threat early in the season. Teams will have to respect his speed(along with other guys), which should stretch the defense out, allowing more space for intermediate throws and in the running game. That's a luxury the FSU offense didn't have last season once Keon Coleman, Johnny Wilson, and Jaheim Bell got banged up. If Benson can solidify himself as a threat, the offense becomes a pick-your-poison to defend. If teams stack the box to stop the run, FSU can beat them over the top. If they don't bring enough guys down in the box, FSU should be able to run the ball effectively. If Mike Norvell speaks about a player like this, he genuinely believes it. FSU might have another game-changer at WR.

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