Last year Florida State had three receivers finish with more than 50 catches, but none of the other receivers on the Seminoles roster caught more than 6. Even the three main receivers for the Seminoles struggled to produce consistently. Florida State's leading receiver Travis Rudolph had 916 yards receiving, but 52.1 percent of those yards came in just three games. He had five games with less than 40 yards receiving. Kermit Whitfield had 798 yards receiving, but 59.5 percent of those yards came in four games. He had five games with 35 or less receiving yards. Bobo Wilson caught 58 passes, but for just 622 yards. He did not have a single game with more than 80 yards all season.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is looking for all of his receivers to step up this spring.
"Will any of our receivers step up?" Fisher said. "Is there one really big-time guy that can go make plays all the time? And the other guys being consistent? Those young receivers that were hurt all last year getting an opportunity to step up into roles. They’re going to have plenty of opportunities. Make us play you. Do what you have to do. Be productive. Do the things you’ve got to do."
Another issue that has plagued the Seminoles is the lack of size among the three starters. Wilson and Whitfield are both under 5-foot-10, 190-pounds. Travis Rudolph is the biggest member of the group at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds. The rest of the receiving corps has the size to create mismatches, but they haven't been able to play well enough to find the field yet. The Seminoles have Ermon Lane at 6-foot-3, Ja'Vonn Harrison at 6-foot-2, George Campbell at 6-foot-4, and Auden Tate at 6-foot-5 waiting for their chance. Campbell and Tate came in with very high expectations, but they need to prove they can be consistent before they see the field according to Jimbo Fisher.
“[They need] consistency," Fisher said. "And one, stay healthy. You’ve got to stay healthy. Guys get hurt, that’s part of ball. You’ve to stay healthy to be on the field. And then inconsistency, knowing what to do and how to do it. And then making plays on the football. Do you make plays on the football ? A receiver has two jobs: Does he get open and does he catch the ball? At the end of the line you can ask if he’s big. Is he 6-4? Is he 5-2? Does he run fast? Does he run slow? Here’s the thing, does he get open? Does he catch the ball? ....That’s what they’ve got to prove, and can they do it consistently.”
The wide receivers will have the benefit of playing with more talented quarterbacks this spring than last year during the season so that should help, but it's a two way street. They will need to be in the right position consistently to help the younger quarterbacks out. That's what coach Fisher is looking for.