Florida State is looking to replace one of the best running backs they have had in program history in Dalvin Cook. Cook was a do it all kind of back, one that was explosive and could take it the distance no matter where he was on the field.
Even though it is always tough to replace such a talent like Cook, the Seminoles may be geared up to have yet another prolific back, or maybe even two.
Head Coach Jimbo Fisher has his eyes on two running backs heading into the season, two that could create one of the best duo in the nation.
Junior Jacques Patrick and freshman Cam Akers have heard the praise early on but time will only tell if they can manufacture the production Cook was able to do.
Patrick is the experience back, carrying the ball 124 times behind Cook. Akers comes in with no college experience but brings the talent that could make him an early legacy.
Taking a look at Patrick first, the junior back is a 6-foot-2, 230 pound back that can bring the boom along with his speed. In limited action though, Patrick has shown glimpses of what he can do and with the possibility of carries growing tremendously, there would be no surprise for him to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark.
Patrick though could be pegged into the starting role for the Seminoles Week 1 against a vaulted Alabama defense, as he brings the experience, but don’t be surprised if Akers starts taking over more carries further on down the season.
Kelvin Hunt, journalist for ChopChat.com, spoke more about Patrick.
“Jacques Patrick is a bigger back that's finally running like one. Fisher challenged Patrick all last year to be more physical, and he delivered in limited opportunities behind Dalvin Cook. He's dependable in pass protection and is underrated as a receiver for a bigger back. I expect him to start against Alabama.”
Akers is more like Cook, coming in at 5-foot-11. But this is a kid that produces and showed that immediately in Florida State’s Spring Game earlier in the year. He continued that from his high school career, in which he accrued 700 carries, 5,103 rushing yards, and 71 total touchdowns on the ground (not to mention him throwing for over 8,000 yards and 78 more touchdowns).
Hunt is also in belief in the talk surrounding Akers, as he has looked the part early on in his career.
“Cam Akers is the real deal and looked the part in the spring game. He was able to break off long runs while also running between the tackles with power. Also, looks like he's a threat out of the backfield in the passing game. If he gets pass protection down pat, he'll be on the field quickly.”
Patrick and Akers will both get carries but Patrick may start out early on in the season with his experience. But if Akers comes out and produces, pass protects, and doesn’t turn the ball over, he could make an even bigger noise and take over the starting spot.
Either way, the Seminoles are in a good position.