Heisman Rankings 2018: Top 20 Heisman Trophy candidates

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /

To say the 2017 Florida State Seminoles underachieved would be saying it lightly, as they had tremendous expectations going into their season opener against Alabama. However, the Crimson Tide pasted the Seminoles, and by the time the season ended, the proud program finished the regular season with a 6-6 record.

One player who did not underachieve was standout freshman Cam Akers, who played up to his projection during his first season with the team. The young running back set the Florida State freshman record for rushing yards with 1,024, beating the previous record held by Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who rushed for 1,008 back in 2014.

Akers was an All-American during his high school days as Clinton (MS) High School, playing both running back and quarterback for the team. During his last season in high school, he rushed for 34 touchdowns, and threw for another 31, as he was named the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year.

Heading into 2018, the expectation has to be that the Seminoles will be a better team than they put on the field last season. Deondre Francois is back after suffering a serious knee injury and will have to battle James Blackman to get his starting job at quarterback back. New head coach Willie Taggart has his work cut out for him, but he has won everywhere he has been, and the players should benefit from his arrival.

Florida State also has Jaques Patrick at the running back position, but that should not affect the impact Akers has on the college football landscape this season. Some feel Akers could go for over 2,000 yards this season, and based on what we saw in his first season at Florida State, the sky in the limit for him moving forward.