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CFF Targets - Jordan Travis in for HEISMAN season in 2023
FSU's Jordan Travis is in for a massive season in 2023, will it translate to CFF?
But I being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet, tread softly
Because you tread on my dreams.
- Partridge, Equilibrium (2002) / W.B. Yeats, Poet
Florida State (FSU) fans have waited a long time to climb out of the dungeon of irrelevancy. There were dark days, yes, but the lows only serve to make the highs feel that much sweeter. The 2023 season is shaping up to potentially be a dream season for the Seminole faithful, and their QB — Jordan Travis, is at the forefront of that dream.
Not too long ago, FSU was viewed as a national laughing stock due to a series of PR disasters. These included a loss to an FCS program and Travis Hunter's last-minute decision to flip to Jackson State. At the time, there were rumors that Deion Sanders was telling FSU recruits that head coach Mike Norvell was on the brink of being fired and that he would bring those players over to FSU once he secured the position. These whispers only added to the program's desperate need for some juice.
Now, after last season’s momentum that feels like a lifetime ago, and — unfortunately for Deion — I don’t think Norvell is going anywhere. In fact, I think FSU has a very strong chance of making the CFP this season and Travis is a great bet to win the Heisman should that happen.
Last August, I put a flyer $5 on Kansas State’s RB Deuce Vaughn to win the Heisman. Not because I really thought he’d win, but because 1) the odds were fat as hell and 2) I already had bets on KSU winning the B12 and clearing the over on their win total (was either 6.5 or 7.5 IIRC). Given that Vaughn was their best player, I figured if these events happen, he’ll at least be in the conversation. Sure, in the end that never materialized, but at least the other two bets did (netting me a total of over $1200, which sort of covered the fiver on Vaughn).
I plan to do something similar with FSU this August once the futures odds are released. Given that Travis is a QB, he actually has a real chance of winning it. Oh and yes, in case you’re wondering, betting content will be coming to VolumePigs.
As a UGA fan, FSU’s resurgence is an annoyance. They are starting to see some success on the trail in south GA, which is an important outpost to the Bulldogs’ success. That being said, if a Florida program is going to be on the ‘up’, I’d want it to be FSU. CFB is just better when the Seminoles are relevant. Miami is a program for dweebs and UF is… well UF.
There are two pivotal games for this program next season, Sept. 3rd vs. LSU and Sept. 23rd vs. Clemson. So we should know fairly early on whether FSU is for real or not. By October, the Heisman buzz could be pronounced for one Jordan Travis should FSU come out of those games 2/2.
Anyways, enough stalling — let’s get into this thing.
Coaching & System
Norvell has been the head coach at FSU since 2020. Prior to that, he CEO’d the Memphis Tigers between 2016 and 2019, with great success. His Tigers never won less than 8 games in that span, and his QB averaged 3666 yards and 32.25 TDs per year in that span.
The rushing usage was generally minimal, however, none of those QBs were the dual-threat weapon that Norvell has at his disposal currently. Travis has scored 7 rushing TDs in each of the last three seasons with the Seminoles, and in 2022 he had his best season; Travis passed for 3214 yards and 24 TDs, and rushed for 417 yards and 7 TDs (25.7 FPG).
Statistically, Norvell’s best QB was Riley Ferguson in 2017, where he averaged 26.34 FPG.
Norvell’s OC — Alex Atkins was hired in 2020. His previous stop was in the same role at Charlotte in 2019 where his QB1 Chris Reynolds averaged 23.8 FPG. During that season, Reynolds rushed 153 times for 767 yards and 6 TDs.
So, we know this staff are going to allow Travis to do damage along the ground. While the staff haven’t had a truly elite CFF QB in recent history, the one they have now is probably more talented than any of those players, with a much higher ceiling.
QB Jordan Travis - 6’1, 200
Travis is entering his sixth year of college ball with the Seminoles. It’s a big year coming up for him. Depending on what happens in 2023, he could find himself in the first round conversation of the NFL draft next April.
As mentioned, during his 2022 campaign he passed for over 3000 yards and ran for over 400 yards. He scored 31 TDs total in 13 games, which was good for 25.7 FPG. In 2021, he averaged 22.1 FPG in 10 games, and the year before he averaged 20.5 FPG. The trend appears to be on the up for Travis, and in 2023 his top receiving weapon returns.
Johnny Wilson is probably the biggest WR in CFB standing at 6’7, 235 pounds. In 2022, he caught 43 passes for 897 yards and 5 TDs. Many speculate that it will be the Travis-Wilson show this fall. Indeed, when looking at the numbers, it’s hard to argue that both players aren’t trending in that direction.
Add in transfer TE addition Jaheim Bell by way of South Carolina and the there should be enough options for Travis to flourish.
Travis will also have his RB1 Trey Benson back this fall. Benson and the other RBs should take some of the pressure off the pass game and help facilitate an effective and explosive offence.
The good thing about a program like FSU? I expect they will be better than most of their opponents this season, but not UGA/Alabama better, they won’t be blowing ACC programs out every week. So you know what that means — there is potential for some monster stat padding.
The other good thing is that despite some tough games vs. LSU and Clemson, the remainder of the Seminoles’ schedule is pretty smooth.
We haven’t seen an elite CFF QB yet under the current staff, and Travis has yet to produce an elite CFF season.
Travis and FSU have accrued a lot of hype this offseason. Travis is generally selected pretty high in CFF drafts, however, I wouldn’t want to spend an early round pick on him, especially when productive CFF QBs basically grow on trees. I like him more in the mid-to-late rounds as the second or third QB drafted for my roster.
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