Before the season started, Florida State receivers Kenny Shaw, Kelvin Benjamin and Rashad Greene got together and made a pact. Their goal was to support each other, be unselfish and ultimately become the nation’s best receiving corps.
And heading into Monday night’s BCS National Championship against Auburn, they feel like they’ve accomplished their goal.
“We told ourselves, we’re going to be dominant this year, we’re going to be the talk of Florida State, we’re going to put Florida State back on the map,” Benjamin said. “I think we did a good job with that.”
Florida State averages 322 passing yards per game and Shaw, Benjamin and Greene each have more than 900 receiving yards this season. The three receivers, who are affectionately known at Florida State as The Trio, has combined for 29 touchdowns.
“All of us have a little bit of everything,” Benjamin said. “You’ve got the big guy, you got the quick guy, all of us can beat you deep or across the middle. It’s just being consistent in your catches.
“The key is not being selfish and just going out and being a good teammate. If Rashad has a big game, be happy for him. You feel like you had that big game. If Kenny had a big game, we’re happy for him. Same as me – if I have a good game they’ll be happy for me.”
Being a good teammate started by bonding off the field. On Sundays, The Trio, along with quarterback Jameis Winston and offensive lineman Bobby Hart, get together to watch football and eat a hearty dinner prepared by Greene.
“I always like to cook, my dad taught me how to cook, so on Sundays we get together and I’ll cook a meal for some of the guys on the team,” Greene said.
“It’s definitely building a bond. It’s definitely one of the ways we get together, but we’re always together.”
The Trio walks to class together. They go to movies together. They play cards and games. It’s rare that you see one of Florida State’s star receivers without the other two close behind.
And that’s kind of the way The Trio works on the field. Defenses might think they have one of the receivers on lockdown only to see another have a big game. If you limit one, the other two will step up and hurt you.
That’s what they hope to do to an Auburn secondary that had some trouble in its final three games. Against Georgia, Alabama and Missouri, the Tigers allowed 415, 277 and 303 passing yards respectively.
Benjamin said he looked at all of those games, especially the SEC title game against Missouri, which has receivers comparable to Florida State’s, and studied exactly what worked and what didn’t.
“[Missouri] had a lot of balls that they dropped, a lot of missed assignments,” Benjamin said. “They had times they were not on the same page as the quarterback. So, with us as receivers, we’re just going to go out there and minimize mistakes because there are going to be mistakes and adversity in the game, it’s the great teams that get past it.”
Obviously, the one thing they’d like to do different against Auburn that those other three teams couldn’t is win the game, and Winston thinks he has the receiving corps to make that happen.
“At the end of the day, it’s whoever has the most heart and whoever has the most will that’s going to do it,” Winston said. “I’m blessed with the options I have with Kelvin, who’s 6-6, Rashad Greene, a speedster, and Kenny Shaw, our possession guy. And even Nick O’Leary, our tight end. So, obviously, we’ve got a lot of matchups and we’re looking forward to playing against them.”
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