Redshirt freshman wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is earning the trust of his coaches, thanks to size, athletic ability and an ability to come down with balls well outside the range of most receivers.
Florida State Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher is growing to trust redshirt freshman wideout Kelvin Benjamin, reports the Orlando Sentinel. After Benjamin spent his first year on the bench with the Seminoles' playbook, the young receiver appears to be picking up speed. The Sentinel quotes FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel on Benjamin's performances in practice:
"If you give him the opportunity by putting the ball in the air, he can come down with a catch. He has enormous hands, enormous hands and great hand-eye coordination."
That's led to the trust of Fisher:
"You can trust him to get [to his spots] so the quarterback doesn't have to hold the ball or wonder how he's getting there," Fisher said. "If he's covered we'll throw to a back shoulder or a high shoulder on him because he has that range. You can throw the ball different to him because of his ability to contort his body more than other guys."
It addition to the ability to move his body, Benjamin's size is a key difference. The 6-5, 243-pound receiver has both size and strong athleticism, both of which were on display in the Seminoles' 51-7 win over Boston College. Benjamin had five catches for 68 yards, and nearly had another on a deep bomb from Manuel. The ball was thrown high, but Benjamin went up for it and managed to bring it in. The ball bounced off the ground as he came down with it. however.
Comparing it to the stunning catches he regularly makes in practice, Benjamin told the Sentinel, "Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't." The ball has stuck 19 times so far this season, for a total of 327 yards and three touchdowns.