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Florida State’s Lawrance Toafili ‘has been remarkable’ as four-star freshman

The Pinellas Park High alumnus has been ripping off explosive runs regularly so far.
Florida State running back Lawrance Toafili (Pinellas Park High) is seen here during FSU's 2020 preseason camp.
Florida State running back Lawrance Toafili (Pinellas Park High) is seen here during FSU's 2020 preseason camp. [ KYLE PULEK | Courtesy of FSU Sports Information ]
Published Aug. 25, 2020
Updated Aug. 25, 2020

After Cam Akers’ departure to the NFL and Khalan Laborn’s dismissal from the team, Florida State’s backfield is without proven options. It’s the perfect setup for a talented newcomer, like four-star signee Lawrance Toafili from Pinellas Park High.

“I tell ya, Lawrance Toafili has been remarkable this last week,” first-year Seminoles coach Mike Norvell said Tuesday. “You can tell that he is really kind of gaining some confidence in what we’re asking him to do.”

Toafili’s talent is unquestioned. The 6-foot, 180-pound St. Petersburg native was one of the state’s top 40 prospects in the 2020 recruiting class. He was No. 1 on the Tampa Bay Times’ HomeTeam 100 a year ago, then rushed for 1,463 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final prep season before signing with FSU in December as one of the top five recruits in Norvell’s first class.

Related: Lawrance Toafili upholds family traditions

Norvell said Toafili is ripping off explosive runs on a daily basis during practice. That’s noteworthy considering Norvell’s past. At Memphis, the Tigers ranked in the top 12 in rushes of at least 40 yards in each of Norvell’s final three seasons as head coach.

Lawrance Toafili looks like a big-play threat for FSU.
Lawrance Toafili looks like a big-play threat for FSU. [ KYLE PULEK | Courtesy of FSU Sports Information ]

“I think just about every day he’s done something good with the ball in his hands, and now it’s just continuing to develop him with how to play without the ball in his hands,” Norvell said. “He’s starting to embrace that and gaining confidence in what we’re asking him to do.”

Toafili is set to make his Seminoles debut in FSU’s Sept. 12 opener against Georgia Tech at Doak Campbell Stadium.