Four candidates that could be WR1 for the Noles’ offense in 2024

When looking at the position as a whole for the Seminoles, they have quality talent but they are largely unproven. Wide receivers coach Ron Dugans has taken the necessary steps during the last two recruiting cycles to replenish the depth.

Florida State added former Oregon State quarterback transfer DJ Uiagalelei this offseason. The veteran signal-caller can command the offense with a strong arm as well as his pocket presence. This spring will be a pivotal point to see which wide receivers emerge as the top options.

The Seminoles finished the 2023 season with an undefeated regular season plus an ACC championship. The expectations for 2024 are sky-high, but the squad can be successful if they can gel the offense together.

 

DESTYN HILL

If you had asked Seminole fans a year ago, some would have suggested that Hill was not even a real person. The former Class of 2021 four-star prospect had his enrollment delayed due to a personal matter. Just like Vandrevius Jacobs, media members were discussing Destyn Hill’s maturity as a player after missing quite a bit of football.

However, Hill finally suited up in garnet and gold where he recorded 6 receptions for 87 yards. That does not scream someone who could be a number one option right away, but his talent and potential in the slot could be something that should not be ignored.

While there was a reason for concern with Florida State redshirt senior Jordan Travis not utilizing the middle of the field with his slot receivers, newly acquired transfer DJ Uiagalelei threw the slot often where junior Silas Bolden had 54 receptions for 746 yards and 5 touchdowns last season with the Oregon State Beavers.

Could this be a breakout year for Hill?

 

HYKEEM WILLIAMS

Florida State had a great wide receiver haul in the 2023 recruiting cycle where they acquired five-star Hykeem Williams, four-star Vandrevius Jacobs, and three-star Goldie Lawrence (who has now entered the transfer portal).

In the spring, many of the media members who attended practice were raving about the development of four-star Vandrevius Jacobs. However, five-star Hykeem Williams’ name did not come up much in conversation. It seemed to be that the Stranahan High School standout took a little bit longer to get adjusted to the collegiate game.

Fans started to see flashes in Williams’ skill set. However, a lower-body injury slowed down his development where he only recorded 5 receptions for 80 yards and 1 touchdown. While I understand that there needs to be more production before we can start to anoint him as the number one receiver option, Williams has all of the intangibles to be successful.

 

MALIK BENSON

Florida State has done a tremendous job of acquiring talent via the transfer portal, especially with Alabama’s collection of players. The Seminoles have taken advantage of legendary head football coach Nick Saban’s shocking announcement to retire.

One pickup that has seemed to go under the radar is Alabama senior Malik Benson. The former No. 1 JUCO prospect in the Class of 2023 ultimately elected to sign with the Crimson Tide. The Seminoles were even interested in pursuing him while he was in JUCO. In the end, they were able to sign his JUCO teammate (DE Jaden Jones) but were not able to obtain Benson.

Just like with recruitments such as Marvin Jones Jr., it has started to pay off for Florida State they finished in second place when they were pursuing him. During the 2023 season, the talented playmaker only recorded 13 receptions for 162 yards and 1 touchdown.

Even with the limited opportunities with Alabama, Benson has the potential to take a 5-yard screen pass into a 75-yard touchdown with his blazing speed

Gideon Canice

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