- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
During the final 10 weeks before the season kicks off, NoleNation will march through the depth chart to analyze Florida State's top 50 contributors for the 2012 season. From Austin Barron to Vince Williams, we'll review each player's career, evaluate his role in 2012 and project what might be in store down the road.
Wide Receiver, Redshirt Freshman, 6-foot-6, 242 pounds
Looking back: If ever there was a study in the difference between potential and results, it's Benjamin, who has superstar written all over him but came to FSU incredibly raw. The 6-foot-6 receiver played just three years in high school, including just eight games as a senior. He arrived in Tallahassee a step slow and a few pounds overweight, and despite his mammoth frame and impressive natural ability, it was fellow freshman Rashad Greene who wowed the coaching staff enough to land a job in 2011. Benjamin was redshirted, but all reports suggest he used the time on the sidelines to set up what could be a monster 2012.
Right now: Should Benjamin fail to develop, he'd hardly be the first player with great potential to offer only minimal impact at the college level. But Jimbo Fisher and the coaching staff must drool over that potential, and that means he'll be given every opportunity to succeed. The beauty of the situation for FSU in 2012, however, is that with a deep receiving corps that includes one breakout star already in Greene, the hype may be high for Benjamin, but the pressure to succeed immediately is relatively low. If he can step in and become a good threat in the end zone and attract some defensive attention away from Greene, the Noles will be pleased. And if he takes a big leap forward -- well, let's just say there will be a lot of sleepless nights for ACC defensive backs.
Looking ahead: When you're 6-foot-6, it's tough to fly under the radar, so despite the year off in 2011, Benjamin is already creating plenty of buzz in 2012. Numerous national media outlets have already predicted big things for the redshirt freshman, and Benjamin's size and hands -- particularly when paired with the speedy Greene -- could provide FSU with a huge matchup advantage in the passing game. If Benjamin can follow through on the promise his raw ability offers, he should at least be a tremendous red-zone threat, and at best he could be a breakout star, a potential All-American and enjoy a future playing on Sundays.
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