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FSU’s Jordan Travis breaks silence on CFP snub; Dolphins interested in another A&M speedster who is close with De’Von Achane

INDIANAPOLIS — Florida State quarterback and NFL draft prospect Jordan Travis spoke publicly about his college team’s snub from last season’s College Football Playoff at the scouting combine Friday at Indiana Convention Center.

Although the Seminoles were 13-0 through the regular season and ACC Championship Game victory over Louisville, they were left out of the four-team playoff by the CFP Committee.

The biggest reason why was because Travis fractured his leg Nov. 18 against North Alabama. Although FSU won its games without him, the team’s offense was a shell of its old self. One-loss teams Texas and Alabama were given the No. 3 and 4 spots in the playoff, respectively, as FSU was bumped out of the top four.

“It sucks. It does suck,” said Travis, a Palm Beach County product out of Benjamin High, Friday. “But, at the end of the day, you got to control what you can control. I’ve learned that throughout my life and throughout my career, so I just try to keep my head down, try not to listen to the outside noise. … We got to move past that, and I look forward to seeing Florida State win a lot of football games next year.”

Relegated to the non-playoff Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 and with many of its top players skipping out on the bowl game, FSU was crushed, 63-3, against Georgia. The Bulldogs, who could also be considered a snub as a national champion the previous two seasons which was undefeated before losing the SEC title game to Alabama, did have its players for the bowl game.

The talent the Seminoles had in 2023 was highlighted at the combine, with 12 players present.

“This Florida State team was really special,” Travis said, “and I think we’re seeing that at the combine here, with the athletes, just the people that we have on the field.”

Travis appears to have moved on after initially taking the news of FSU’s snub tough when it initially was revealed.

“Devastated. Heartbroken,” he posted on X reacting to the CFP bracket in December. “In so much disbelief (right now), I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so ya’ll could see this team is much more than the quarterback. I thought results matter. 13-0 and this roster matches up across any team in those top 4 rankings. I am so sorry. Go Noles!”

Travis was out of his walking boot at his combine interview and said he’s taking it day by day with his recovery.

Achane connected, Welker approved

The Dolphins are interested in another small, speedy playmaker from Texas A&M in this year’s draft after the selection of running back De’Von Achane in the third round last year paid off significantly.

Aggies slot receiver Ainias Smith has a close relationship with Achane and would love to reunite with him in the NFL. Achane and Smith are both from Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston. They attended rival high schools, Achane to Thurgood Marshall High and Smith to Dulles High.

“Real tight,” Smith said of his connection with Achane at a Friday combine media session. “We had always scrimmaged against each other, so it was always a cool little competitive rivalry. At the same, once he had got to A&M, it was pretty wild to me because we had came from the same city, came from the same hood. It was like, we’re both here, doing the same thing that we always dreamed of.”

Smith mentioned trying to recruit Achane to come with him to another college before they both settled on A&M and grew their bond.

Dolphins wide receivers coach Wes Welker was in communication with Smith at the combine, and it left the prospect a bit starstruck.

“I had watched him when I was a little kid and just being able to sit down and talk to him in the interview was pretty crazy,” Smith said. “He was just saying how I kind of reminded him of me.”

Friday combine news

USC quarterback and projected No. 1 overall draft pick, Caleb Williams, decided to skip the medical testing and workouts at the scouting combine.

“Not doing things, it was a decision by me, my team and my family,” Williams said, answering an initial question at his media session that asked whether he feared competing against his peers in the draft. “It comes down to that.”

Williams said he’ll undergo medical evaluations on his visits with teams that are interested in taking him.

The Chicago Bears own the top draft selection. They are expected to either take Williams and trade quarterback Justin Fields or trade out of the No. 1 slot to a team willing to pay the price to move up.

—A combine medical evaluation on Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry revealed a Jones fracture in his right foot, according to NFL Network. McKinstry is not working out in Indianapolis but will at his pro day before undergoing surgery, according to the report.

—Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., largely considered the draft’s top wide receiver prospect, missed his scheduled media interview session at the combine Friday. An NFL spokesperson said Harrison was not present.