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Cam Akers leaving FSU football for NFL draft

With decent blocking, Akers could have been an All-American. Instead his legacy will be saving FSU repeatedly during a rough stretch.
Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) celebrates his first quarter touchdown during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida.  [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) celebrates his first quarter touchdown during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Dec. 14, 2019

Cam Akers’ Florida State football career is over.

The Seminoles’ standout running back announced Saturday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and skip the Sun Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft.

Related: Gus Malzahn: ‘The sky’s the limit’ with FSU’s Mike Norvell

“It’s crazy to think that I’ve played my last game as a Florida State Seminole,” Akers wrote, “but I will carry FSU with me wherever I go.”

Akers entered FSU as one of its top recruits of the Rivals era, a five-star prospect from Mississippi and the No. 3 overall talent in the 2017 class. He’ll leave Tallahassee as one of the best but most unsung players in program history.

His statistics are impressive enough on their own. Akers’ 586 career carries are the most in FSU history.

His final game in garnet and gold was a 102-yard night against Florida — the 11th 100-yard game of his career. Only five Seminoles have had more. Akers with the sixth-most career rushing yards (2,874) and seventh-most career rushing touchdowns (27) among all-time Seminoles.

But consider his surroundings. The offensive line play was bad in two of his three seasons; the other one was historically bad.

Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) runs for a touchdown during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]

With competent blocking, Akers would have been a serious All-America candidate. With great blocking and a better supporting cast, it’s not a stretch to think he could have been in New York on Saturday night as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

Instead, Akers had the misfortune of coming to FSU during its worst three-year-stretch in four-plus decades. Even so, Akers saved his Seminoles repeatedly.

His 248 yards and three touchdowns against Louisiana-Monroe in September avoided what would have been one of the worst losses in program history. His 199 yards against Syracuse as a true freshman rescued FSU. A defeat either time would have kept the ’Noles out of a bowl game.

Related: Why FSU’s Mike Norvell isn’t Willie Taggart 2.0

Akers never won a national title, as Warrick Dunn did. He never made it to a College Football Playoff or New Year’s Six bowl game, like Dalvin Cook.

But his talent and production still warrant a special place in FSU history. As much as the ’Noles struggled during his three seasons in Tallahassee, they would have been much, much worse without him.

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