One of the biggest question marks heading into this spring is the wide receiver position. It is no question that Florida State has lacked talent and experience here for the past few years. And it’s clear that Mike Norvell made receiver a key position to improve after bringing in four guys via the transfer portal.
The ‘Noles have struggled to get their passing game going since Norvell has arrived. A season ago, FSU ranked 94th in passing yards per game. This is less than ideal for a Mike Norvell offense. This season, Florida State hopes to get back to being a dangerous offense with a lot of weapons.
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Andrew Parchment (24 receptions, 313 yards, and 2 touchdowns) and Reggie Harden (Dustin/Logan: Not sure if you wanted me to include him)
Scholarship: Keyshawn Helton, Malik McClain, Darion Williamson, Ja’Khi Douglas, Ontaria Wilson, Joshua Burrell, Jordan Young, and Kentron Poitier.
Walk-Ons: Anthony Weeden, De’Mon Henry, and Fernando Padron.
Mycah Pittman, Deuce Spann, Johnny Wilson, and Winston Wright Jr.
It’s no secret that wide receiver will be a huge position to watch during this spring. Bringing in four guys through the transfer portal is a sign that the coaching staff needed some things to change in the receiver room.
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Right now, there aren’t many surefire starters for the ‘Noles at receiver. Winston Wright Jr. is a key guy who stands out among the mix. The West Virginia transfer tallied 63 receptions for 688 yards and added five touchdowns. If there is anyone in this room that can be counted on, all signs point towards Wright as that guy. One of the best route runners on the roster with good hands and exception quickness. We will find out a lot more after spring, but I expect to see the junior wideout in the starting lineup come Week 0.
One of the key returning receivers to watch during the spring will be sophomore, Malik McClain. McClain had somewhat of a promising freshman year a season ago. The stats won’t show it, but the potential is sky-high. At 6’4, 200 lbs, McClain could be a mismatch for almost any corner in the ACC.
Another transfer who we will be sure to watch for is Mycah Pittman. The Oregon transfer hasn’t been the guy who was promised out of high school. Yet, a lot of that is not any fault of his own. Pittman, who is the brother of Indianapolis Colts’ receiver Michael Pittman, has been a great personality on social media since transferring to the ‘Noles. And, even if he doesn’t reach his full potential at receiver, he is a gifted return man and will help Florida State fill a huge hole they had a season ago.
Keyshawn Helton’s career has been up and down as a Seminole. Originally recruited here as a three-star, he showed great promise in year two before suffering a season-ending injury. Since his return, Helton has only shown flashes of who he once was before the injury. After multiple years of recovery, it will be interesting to see if the 5’9 receiver can be a key guy for the ‘Noles this year.
Ja’Khi Douglas is another returning Seminole who could really find himself in the offense this season with Florida State. Douglass has bounced around between running back and receiver during practice, but has seen most of his work in the slot during games. He had his fair share of big plays for FSU last season, as many of you will remember his 60-yard touchdown against the Irish in Week 1 and his 59-yard reception against Miami to set up the game-winning drive for the ‘Noles . Mike Norvell has said he wants playmakers since day one, and if Douglass keeps making big plays, I expect him to be a big part of the offense this season.
Johnny Wilson is going to be a big guy to watch for in the spring. And I mean that literally as Wilson stands at 6’7 and weighs 225 lbs. In an offense that has been run first the past few years, having receivers who can block is key. And Wilson can do just that. Plus, being 6’7 has its fair share of benefits, and I expect to see those pay off in the red zone. We will see if Wilson has the potential to become a problem for opposing defenses during the spring. Although, even if he never reaches his ceiling, his strengths should keep him in the rotation.
Ontario Wilson will be returning for his 5th season for the ‘Noles this year. He has been around long enough to have a great senior season. We’ve seen his impressive ability to change direction and make defenders miss, but he hasn’t had great hands or shown the ability to consistently get open. This will be his chance to change that, the only question is – will he?
Deuce Spann is the last of the transfers to go over, and boy is he an exciting one. Spann is listed at 6’4, 195, and runs a legit 4.3 40. The Illinois transfer is just oozing with potential, and with Mike Norvell’s experience with receivers, I expect to see Spann make a lasting impact on the ‘Noles roster for seasons to come. He may not break the rotation early on, but expect to see a lot of Deuce Spann in the future. Possibly even in the mid-to-late stages of this season.
Darion Williamson is another young returning guy who could make an impact this year. He saw the field a fair amount for a 3-star freshman last season and has some “What for” to him. His progression will be one to monitor during the spring.
Joshua Burrell is another receiver on the roster who is loaded with potential. An injury to his leg derailed his freshman year. But Norvell was very impressed with him early on last spring. We will see if he can make an even bigger impact when he is healthy.
This might be the last chance for Jordan Young to prove to the coaches that he can play at this level. He has all the tools, but we’ve seen some inability to remember plays. Hopefully, this spring he will turn it around.
There are a lot of guys to watch for at receiver this spring. With 8 scholarship players returning and adding 4 more via the transfer portal, there are a lot of questions surrounding the ‘Noles receiving core. One thing is for sure, Coach Norvell has a lot of potential in this room, and it will be exciting to see it play out.
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