Florida State has developed some outstanding running backs in recent years.
Dalvin Cook is the first one to come to mind. He’s as electric as he was in Tallahassee with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Cam Akers was a stud and showed flashes of superstardom in his rookie year with the Los Angeles Rams.
Cook and Akers laid the foundation for a running back pipeline to flow out of Florida State. The latest in line is Lawrance Toafili, who is ready to take over the Seminole backfield after a solid freshman campaign.
Lawrance Toafili Recruiting & Highlights
Toafili was a four-star recruit out of Pinellas Park High School in Largo, Florida. The Sunshine State native committed to FSU and then-coach Willie Taggart over Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Florida, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Syracuse, UCF, USF and Virginia.
The tailback was noted for his cutting ability, acceleration and decision-making in addition to his vision, balance and elusiveness.
Florida State Seminoles fans saw all of these skills on display in Toafili’s first year on campus.
Lawrance Toafili Florida State
Toafili played behind Jordan Travis, Jashuan Corbin and La’Damian Webb as a freshman. He rounded out a crowded backfield, but by the end of the season, it was easy to see he can be the go-to guy.
Toafili showed his stuff in the third game of the 2020 season against Jacksonville State when he rushed for 99 yards and scored a touchdown. He followed it up with a career-high 117 rushing yards and a touchdown in the season finale against Duke. In 37 carries, he averaged a whopping 9.6 yards per carry, which would’ve ranked second in the NCAA if he had enough carries.
His late-season surge plus a great offseason filled with studying film and hitting the weight room has head coach Mike Norvell eager.
“Lawrance is a really talented player,” Norvell told The Orlando Sentinel. “Not only with what he does running the ball, but the ability to catch the ball no matter where he’s aligned, whether it’s releasing from the backfield or lining up in the slot. He’s a matchup problem for defenses because of that versatility.”
Webb transferred to Troy, giving Toafili the opportunity for more carries. Corbin returns this year and performed well enough last year after suffering a brutal hamstring injury in 2019 when he was at Texas A&M.
Toafili’s ability as a runner and receiver could accelerate him to the top of the depth chart. No matter what, he’ll be ready to go when his number is called.