July 9, 2012

Breakout Candidates: No. 3 Kelvin Benjamin

Over the month of July, Warchant.com will count down the top five breakout candidates for 2012. In order to qualify, the player had to start six or fewer games in 2011.

No. 3 Kelvin Benjamin (6-6, 242) Belle Glade, Fla. (Glades Central)

Offensive Tackle

Class this fall:
Redshirt freshman

Injury status: None.

2011 Stats: Redshirted

High School Accolades: A four-star wide receiver out of Glades Central, Rivals.com ranked Benjamin the No. 8 receiver in the class of 2011, 60th best overall prospect in the Rivals100, and the 16th best prospect in the state of Florida.

Received honors from newspapers across the southeast as he named a member of the Florida Times-Union's Super 75, the Florida Top 100 by the Orlando Sentinel, No. 36 on Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120, and first-team on the Palm Beach Post's All Area Team.

Notable: During his senior season Benjamin was only able to play in eight games his senior season due to an FHSAA age limit. During November he reached the age limit of 19 years and 9 months forcing him to sit out the final two games of the season (including the fabled Muck Bowl) and the playoffs.

Benjamin made the most of the eight games with 30 catches for 551 yards and six touchdowns.

2011 Review:
Benjamin arrived on campus last fall no quite ready to step onto the field at the college level. Instead Benjamin redshirted while working as a member of the scout team in practice and putting in extra work in the classroom.

Spring Review: After sitting out during the fall the 6-fot-6, 242-pound wideout looked like he was in much better shape during the spring. Benjamin was among the top standouts of the spring. Jimbo Fisher said he was pleased with the strides the freshman made during the spring. After each scrimmage Benjamin was praised for his play, including when he hauled in two touchdowns during the fist spring scrimmage. Despite having Lamarcus Joyner and Greg Reid stalk his every move in the spring game, Benjamin finished with four catches for 46 yards. Benjamin was the second player selected and the first pick for the Gold team in the spring game draft.

2012 Depth Chart Outlook: Florida State returns plenty of talent at the receiver position, losing only Bert Reed to graduation. All three top receivers from 2011 return in Rashad Greene (38 receptions), Rodney Smith (36 receptions), and Kenny Shaw (34 receptions). Christian Green, Jarred Haggins, and Greg Dent will also return after playing reserve roles in 2011.

In addition to the several receivers who saw action in 2011, FSU also gets Willie Haulstead back. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound redshirt junior led FSU with six touchdown catches in 2010, but had to sit out last season after never recovering from a preseason concussion. Still despite the number of experienced wideouts returning for FSU in 2012, Fisher has said on a number of occasion that he expects Benjamin to play a big role for the receiving corps.

2012 Breakout Season: There are few players on the team that are surrounded by as much hype and build up as Benjamin. After a spring full of glowing reports the anticipation to see Benjamin in action has only grown stronger. We put Benjamin on our list because with his frame and his mind in a good place after a redshirt season, it appears that Benjamin is ready to break out in 2012. The fact that quarterback EJ Manuel took Benjamin with his first pick in the spring game draft speaks volumes about how the senior signal caller feels about his 6-foot-6 target.

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