Sept. 24, 1999
Following Florida State’s 42-11 victory over N.C. State, the Seminole locker room was a bustle with reporters and photographers dancing around half-naked athletes. Interviews were needed and sound bites were required. Where’s Weinke? Talk to Warrick. Is Bowden still available?
At the center of the tempest, stood Travis Minor. Toweling off in a slow and deliberate fashion, Minor sat peacefully at his wooden stall after washing away the Wolfpack. He is not the mouthpiece for the No. 1-ranked Seminoles.
No, his job description is quite different. He just runs the football. Against N.C. State, Minor gathered 64 yards on 16 carries, by no means spectacular. But when has running the ball at FSU ever been spectacular. The Seminoles are the four-wide, fastbreak, offensive relay.
Travis Minor had 64 yards on
16 carries against N.C. State.
Former-Seminole Warrick Dunn commanded every defensive player’s attention, because conceivably, he was the only threat in that offensive backfield.
Now while Minor, Dunn’s heir, waits in FSU’s backfield, he finds himself looking past Dan Kendra, a martyr/super hero kneeling at fullback, to Chris Weinke, the 27-year-old phenom thundering the audibles. As well as a Heisman campaign that FSU is nursing for one certain receiver.
What may have captured Minor’s valor in a singular play, was an impossible run early in the second half against the ‘Pack. In addition to those 64 yards against NSCU — all of which were traveled as if they would be his last — Minor scored on a 12-yard touchdown run.
I know, it may have read 2-yard touchdown in the paper, but when Minor received the toss and was bounced outside by an would-be tackler, the goal line was just a fantasy.
The reality is that FSU’s running back, sprung by a bench-press-of-a block by Kendra, used every last inch of the sideline to scamper to the corner and stretch the ball just enough to turn the field judge’s arms up towards the sky.
With UNC, Duke and eventually Miami just over the FSU horizon, the most imposing player on the Seminole roster is, in fact, the quiet, reserved, linebacker-breaking Minor. He and Kendra have joined together like peanut butter and jelly to form a hearty and very sweet combination.
As the offensive line performs to the coach’s lofty expectations and Kendra develops skill and experience one play at time, a running game carried by Minor may be the most significant ingredient for success. The junior from Baton Rouge, La. has the ability deep down in his bayou heart to command the apprehension of every defensive coordinator on FSU’s schedule.
Just don’t ask Minor about it. He’s not the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is hollow and boastful, and Minor is none of these.
Minor is just wet from a well-deserved shower.
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