Three FSU Football Newcomers Named As True Freshmen Who Will 'Influence' 2024 Season

A trio of Seminoles are projected to see the field early in their college careers by 247Sports.
Apr 20, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Kam Davis (3) during the Spring Showcase at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Kam Davis (3) during the Spring Showcase at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports / Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

There are less than 75 days to go until Florida State kicks off its 2024 season against Georgia Tech in Ireland. The international affair will also mark the ACC opener for the Seminoles so it's imperative for head coach Mike Norvell and his team to get off to a fast start.

That won't be easy with FSU replacing a majority of its stars from last year including quarterback Jordan Travis, running back Trey Benson, wide receiver Keon Coleman, wide receiver Johnny Wilson, tight end Jaheim Bell, defensive end Jared Verse, defensive tackle Braden Fiske, defensive tackle Fabien Lovett, linebacker Kalen DeLoach, linebacker Tatum Bethune, cornerback Renardo Green, cornerback Jarrian Jones, and safety Akeem Dent. In total, the Seminoles are introducing 40 new players to the program (23 high school signees, 17 transfers) in Norvell's fifth season in Tallahassee.

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The sheer number of newcomers and questionable depth at multiple positions could thrust a trio of true freshmen into sizable roles for a squad that is looking to make a College Football Playoff run. On Monday, 247Sport's Chris Hummer identified 100 true freshmen who will make an influence on the upcoming season and three Seminoles made the list; tight end Landen Thomas, wide receiver Lawayne McCoy, and running back Kam Davis. All three enrolled early and went through spring practice with the program.

Thomas was ranked as the No. 8 tight end in the 2024 class according to 247Sports. His skill set was apparent during the spring as he flashed as a receiver while showing off better-than-expected prowess as a blocker. It would be nice for the Seminoles if Thomas shows enough growth when the preseason rolls around to rise into the rotation, especially with the team replacing Bell, Markeston Douglas, and Preston Daniel.

The Georgia native is competing with Kyle Morlock, Jackson West, and Brian Courtney for playing time. He has a higher ceiling than anyone in the room but is still just six months into his college career. Thomas caught 35 passes for 551 yards and six touchdowns as a senior.

"Florida State loves to use its tight ends, which gives Thomas an immediate path to the field," Hummer wrote. "He had a strong spring debut, creating a lot of buzz about his ability to contribute right away. It's just a question of where Thomas slots in the pecking order. He'll fight with Jackson West and Brian Courtney for reps next to Kyle Morlock."

While there is plenty of talent among Florida State's wide receivers, Malik Benson was the only member of the unit to rise to the occasion this spring. That leaves a few major question marks and a potential for playing time to be earned when the team hits the field again in July. With veterans such as Kentron Poitier, Darion Williamson, and Deuce Spann unable to separate themselves, the Seminoles might need an injection of youth to provide a spark.

Lawayne McCoy was one of three true freshmen wide receivers to join the Seminoles in January alongside Camdon Frier and BJ Gibson. He became more consistent as a playmaker as spring practice progressed, even earning praise from Norvell for his work as a blocker, which is an important aspect of getting on the field in FSU's offense.

After sophomore Destyn Hill was ruled out for the year with a lower-body injury and redshirt freshman Vandrevius Jacobs transferred to South Carolina, there's a spot in the rotation available in the slot behind Ja'Khi Douglas.

"With both Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson off to the NFL, the Seminoles have a lot of production to replace at wide receiver," Hummer wrote. "While there are several older players capable of filling that gap, there's optimism around Tallahassee that McCoy can pick up some of that slack. He had some bright spots during spring ball and showcased an explosiveness that makes him a dynamic deep threat."

There probably wasn't a member of #Tribe24 who Seminole fans were more excited to finally get on campus than Kam Davis. After being pledged to FSU for nearly three years before signing in December, he didn't miss a beat after joining the team for winter conditioning and the spring. In fact, Davis looks like he's already been playing at the college level for multiple seasons.

That maturity was evident at times with his play in a backfield that includes veterans such as redshirt senior Lawrance Toafili, redshirt senior Roydell Williams, and redshirt senior Caziah Holmes. Junior Jaylin Lucas and redshirt freshman Samuel Singleton also are threats to soak up snaps for a running back unit that doesn't necessarily have a designated No. 1 option.

It won't be easy for Davis to play a promiment role as one of the least experienced options in the room. At the same time, if there's someone that can do it, it's him.

"Is there an easy path to playing time for Davis? No. The Seminoles have excellent starting-caliber depth at running back," Hummer wrote. "But talking to sources inside the program, Davis was too good this spring to keep him off this list. A converted high school quarterback, Davis has showcased obvious strength at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds along with an advanced understanding of the offense."

The early returns surrounding the majority of the high school signees who joined Florida State at the beginning of the year have been positive. There's only so much to take away from practice but the talent and competitive nature of #Tribe24 will only continue to strength the Seminoles moving forward.


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Dustin Lewis

DUSTIN LEWIS

Lewis joined NoleGameday in 2016 and is currently in the role of Editor-In-Chief. A graduate of Florida State, Lewis contributes to football, recruiting, and basketball coverage. Connect with Dustin on Twitter at @DustinLewisNG.