Cam Akers Lives Up to the Hype

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A few months ago, before the season started I wrote a story on if Cam Akers will live up to “the hype“. After being named the best running back in the 2017 signing class, there were a lot of expectations following him to Tallahassee. A lot of fans were hoping that right away he would be the next Dalvin Cook, but maybe their expectations were a bit premature. As we all know, legendary running backs are not made in one season. But, despite all of the high expectations, I believe Cam Akers had a stunning first season as a Seminole, and things are only going to get better from here.

This season was a little rough for Florida State, but one player we could always count on to make exciting plays was Cam Akers. He finished the regular season with 930 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. He also had 15 receptions for 102 yards as well.

Akers’ longest play of the year was a 63 yard run against Syracuse. It was an explosive run, getting past a very tough defensive line, and brought it all the way home for a touchdown to extend the Noles’ lead in the second quarter. At this point in the season, FSU still had not won a game at home, so seeing exciting plays like this really boosted everyone in Doak Campbell Stadium’s morale.

It wasn’t just against Syracuse that Akers stood out though. He had four games with over 100 total rushing yards. Including two of those against Miami and Duke. Quite impressive for a freshman in a tough football conference like the ACC. To add to his accomplishments this year, Akers also finished the regular season as the 6th leading rusher in the ACC. One of only three freshmen to finish in the top ten.

One of my favorite moments of his season was Akers’ massive hit on the Miami defender. It honestly might be one of the greatest moments of this whole season. Despite the loss to Miami, that hit made the entire game just…incredible. All you saw was Cam Akers taking his normal route to the side, then all of a sudden a Miami defender comes and tries to knock him out of bounds. But, instead of him doing that, Akers knocked him completely into the air and then to the ground. All while still having control of the ball.

The fact that it happened on the home sidelines too made it even better. The entire sidelines, and pretty much the entire crowd, were on their feet cheering on their freshman running back. After the hit, you could tell it really woke up the team and made them realize how important this game was. Playing Miami is one of the biggest rivalry games all year, and everyone desperately needed that boost of energy. You can always count on Cam Akers to bring that energy and keep you entertained during a game.

Another exciting moment from Akers’ introductory season was the trick play against Boston College. James Blackman passed the ball to Akers, then Akers threw the ball for 47 yards to Nyqwan Murray. Since FSU rarely has any trick plays, it was shocking at first, but how well they pulled it off was amazing to see. There have always been jokes and rumors flying around on social media about having Akers play quarterback, but after seeing that trick play, I don’t think anyone would be upset if he actually did.

But, I think we can all agree that keeping him a part of the star running back duo of Akers and Jacques Patrick would be even better.

To put all of these stats into perspective, Dalvin Cook finished his freshman season with 1008 rushing yards, only 78 more yards than Akers has right now. Florida State still has one more game this season though, the Independence Bowl against Southern Mississippi on December 27th. This means that Akers has a chance to beat Cook’s freshman season rushing yard total. Akers had an impressive first season at FSU, and it will be exciting to see how much he improves and excels under the style of new head coach, Willie Taggart.

It is no surprise that Akers stole the heart of all Florida State football fans this year. He had an amazing first season in Tallahassee, and he will only continue to develop as the seasons go by. We can expect even more explosive plays, tremendous hits, and new records to be set while Cam Akers’ spends his years at Florida State.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say this, but Cam Akers definitely lived up to the hype this season. And it is only going to get better from here.

Haylee Blitch

Writer at NoleGameday covering Football and Baseball. Media and Communications Studies major at Florida State University.

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