Friday, July 12, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 16 Kelvin Benjamin
By David M. Hale
Throughout the summer, NoleNation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
Physically gifted at 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has yet to translate that into consistent production in FSU's offense.
What he's done: In his first year of action, Benjamin finished fourth on FSU's offense in catches and receiving yards, second in receiving touchdowns and had the highest yards-per-catch average of any receiver on the team -- and yet it's hard to look at his 2012 campaign as anything other than a mild disappointment. The hype surrounding Benjamin was immense, and he opened the season showing plenty of flash. But by midseason, his lack of focus became clear, and he mustered just four catches for 23 yards in FSU's final four games.
Where he's at: Benjamin's potential hasn't dipped any, and his 16.5 yards-per-catch average last season only solidified the notion that he can blossom into one of the most dangerous receivers in the country in time. The question is, when will his time come? There's ample opportunity now for Benjamin to establish himself. With Rodney Smith gone, Jimbo Fisher would love to find another big-bodied receiving target, and with Greg Dent suspended indefinitely, there's a major need for someone else to step up. Benjamin insists his head is in the game now and he's learned the lessons he needed to learn, but questions linger.
What's to come: Through two years at Florida State, Benjamin has earned an immense amount of hype, and perhaps that's been his biggest downfall. He knows he's good, and too often he's relied on that natural ability to carry him. Sometimes it's worked, but too often he's disappeared from the offense. Where Benjamin was a luxury for FSU in years past though, he's an integral cog in the offense this season, and the Seminoles can't afford another year of growing pains. Benjamin must be aware of that, and last year's struggles should be a reminder of how much farther he has to go. He may not blossom into the superstar some have projected in 2013, but if he can become a more consistent threat without the problematic ups and downs, Florida State would be thrilled.