Back FSU’s Travis Settling In, Making Plays

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FSU’s Travis Settling In, Making Plays

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Jordan Travis, still settling in, led the Seminoles to their most impressive performance in a few years.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis has been in an all-out sprint in recent weeks, going from reserve signal caller to getting meaningful in-game repititions to taking over atop the depth chart for the Seminoles.

In his first career start, Travis compiled 300 total yards and scored passing and running the football as Florida State compiled 405 total yards and 26 points in a hard-fought loss to 5th ranked Notre Dame. He, the very next week, promptly came with more of the same against similar competition, this time adding a victory to his 297 total yards and three scores in a statement win over 5th ranked North Carolina. Travis, still settling in, led the Seminoles to their most impressive performance in a few years.

The West Palm Beach-native, the younger brother of Major League Baseball infielder Devon Travis, clearly has home run ability. Jordan officially debuted for Florida State against Boston College late last season, running three times for 94 yards and two touchdowns in pacing the Seminoles to an important one-score win. He finished 2019 as the team's third-leading rusher, compiling 23 carries for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Travis also completed 6-of-11 passes for 79 yards.

Though primarily used as a runner until fully taking over the starting job, Travis has shown a great touch on downfield throws and is becoming more consistent in the short-to-intermediate passing game. His dual-threat ability has proven key against Jacksonville State, where Travis came off the bench to lead a quick rally, Notre Dame and North Carolina. Travis' 9.8 yards per pass attempt trails only Clemson's Trevor Lawrence in the ACC. Additionally, Travis leads all ACC quarterbacks in rushing.

Travis is one of just three players in the country currently with 600 passing yards and 300 rushing yards.

The run Travis is currently on is one of the most impressive in all of college football. It's a story that starts, with Florida State playing at the Cardinals this weekend, in Louisville. Travis signed with the Cardinals out of high school and played some with the team as a freshman before transferring to Tallahassee. After ultimately getting a waiver to become immediately eligible for the team he grew up rooting for and the school his brother played baseball for, Travis found a way to make an impact in year one.

He is a now a star in year two.

As a player who loops and spins past defenders, a return to Louisville will be an early full-circle experience.

The energy Travis has brought to Florida State is as notable as his playmaking ability. Travis, who can be effective running scripted plays and improvising, can make an impact a variety of different ways. He has given head coach Mike Norvell and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham some new schematic options. The Seminoles have nine rushing touchdowns in their last three games. With Travis' ability and improved offensive line play, along with expanded depth at running back and receiver, a new identity is developing.

As Travis adjusts to the spotlight, he has been quick to credit veteran quarterback James Blackman, an accomplished player who has 44 career touchdowns at Florida State, for his consistent leadership and support. Travis, continuing to get comfortable in his sudden starring role, has relied on the multi-year starter Blackman for his perspective and wisdom. On the field and off, chemistry and cohesion is helping Travis find his way with the Seminoles.

The North Carolina win was an important one for Travis, Norvell and Florida State. Even in what has been a disappointing start to the season, the victory comes with validation. A triumph over a top five team is a rare feat for any program, one rebuilding or ready as is. Notably, Travis was paired off against Tar Heel phenom Sam Howell, a long-time FSU commit in the recruiting process, and made plenty of big plays himself. Travis scored three times, including on a 23-yard run the first time he touched the football.

For stretches of Saturday night's game, the Seminoles looked the part of a contender.

Plenty of work remains for Florida State. That said, the Seminoles have found a spark. Though the path Travis took to where he is now was, at times, a trying one, he continued to chase his goals. Fresh off a signature win, Travis is helping his new team work for more of the same.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports