Well, that transition just might be happening.
Sam, a former start Class A player from Buford, Ga., near Atlanta, turned in an exceptional effort in Wednesday's scrimmage. After dropping a potential touchdown pass early, Sam responded with five catches for 101 yards and two scores.
Sam, who earned the award for most dependable receiver during spring drills, has enjoyed a solid preseason thus far.
Former FSU receiver Kez McCorvey, who worked with the unit during summer conditioning drills and has kept a watchful eye during practice, says Sam has been the group's most consistent performer. Sam, who was hampered by a hamstring injury over the second half of last season and finished with just 13 catches for 162 yards, points to experience as one key.
"It's finally clicking," Sam said.
"I am using everything they (former receivers/coaching staff) have taught me over the years, and I am kind of finally developing into a player. I am attacking different leverages. I am finally seeing rotations and know what's going to happen before the snap. Once you see that, you don't have to rush the routes.
"If you can see the safeties rolling and you know where Chris (Rix) and Fabian (Walker) are expecting you to find the holes… three years of doing this with them makes it a lot easier. This is just the beginning. I think the timing has been very good so far."
Of course, Sam has heard the critics. He has heard the whispers that FSU's receivers don't match the standards of past groups, pointing to the unit's drops last year (35). Sam said it was important for him to rebound after his initial drop for a score.
Sophomore safety Pat Watkins came across for a deflection, missed the ball, but broke Sam's concentration enough for the drop. That was the only dropped pass of the session by a wide receiver.
"I am not really a vocal person and I try to lead by example," said Sam, whose younger brother Lorne also is looking to contribute at receiver this season after spending spring drills at quarterback.
"We have a lot of young guys, some freshmen, and I didn't want them to think that's acceptable. That's what we had the last three years, so I wanted to get some more times and make the best of 'em.
"We kind of started slow (today) but once we got going everything was just like it was in the summer. Growing up and watching Florida State, I've always wanted to be one of the best. To finally get here, I don't want to be known as the group of receivers that weren't up to par. I am just trying to pick up the tempo and get it back. It was just my turn today and I made the best of it."