The person receiving the least attention this off-season who is probably the most important piece to FSU’s potentially explosive offense is Nyqwan “Noonie” Murray. The leading receiver from last year’s under-performing squad had a decision on his hands. Should he take his chances on the limited production with glimpses of brilliance he produced on the field to the NFL or should he come back and see what Willie Taggart has to offer. Ultimately he made the decision to stay for his senior season, making this do-or-die time for the 5’11 senior from Orlando.
Murray wasn’t the most talked-about receiver in the group as far as the recruiting services go, but I figured he’d be something dynamic when I heard The Voice Of FSU Gene Deckerhoff discuss that he has been one of the guys that caught his eye in practice a few years ago. You can see flashes; in order for FSU to make noise and be “back” in 2018, it has to have a consistent go-to threat in the passing game.
We know Tamorrion Terry can stretch the field; we know D.J. Matthews has all kinds of athletic ability. Still, the only receiver who has the experience and tools to be the number one out the gate is Murray. He suffered a setback in the spring, but that should be minor. He’s got to be the guy who is looked to for leadership, consistency in route running, and, more importantly, big plays.
FSU needs the Michigan Orange Bowl Murray (two receptions, 104 yards, two touchdowns) to step on that field in 2018. I think with a running back core that defenses have to respect and QBs with experience, more productivity should be expected from Murray.
As I looked over Taggart’s last three seasons offensively, consistency might look different than past FSU big-names reciever. There will be games when the passing attack takes a back seat to an effective running game. When his name is called, however, Murray needs to strike.
I believe by season’s end, as well as the next few years, people will speak about FSU’s receiving core highly again. FSU wide receivers coach David Kelly has some young bulls in his unit who are going to come in hungry. That youthful energy needs guidance and should motivate Murray to be even more competitive.
FSU hasn’t had a receiver with over 10 touchdowns since the national championship season of 2013 with Kelvin Benjamin; that team also had three others with over six TDs along with three receivers with over 900 yards.
Competitive receivers lead to better QB play and a high powered offense. I believe Murray has the potential to be a more explosive version of Rashad Greene who Benjamin and Kenny Shaw were able to feed off of. Anytime FSU’s offense has been high-powered they’ve had a trio of receivers who could make THE play at any given time.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/nyqwan-murray-needs-to-lead-florida-state-receiver-group-in-2018/