Antone Smith is clearly the highest profile back on the FSU roster
He only got drafted there because he ran fast at the combine
His college career cannot be looked at as anything less than a bust
How great Booker was that he kept Smith on the bench
but at this point we don't know whether his pedestrian production was truly limited by those factors or whether he's just an average player. Saying anything more is just wishful thinking and sticking up for your guys
2004, the Noles have a good OL (Alex Barron is on the team) and a decent OL coach
Booker as a backup ran for 877 yards. Easily would have eccliped 1,000 if he did not backup Leon Washington (who is a better RB han Booker)
2005, McHale is hired, and a new zone blocking scheme is implemented with bad fits on the OL.
Leon Washington (a player who nearly had 1,000 yards himself in 2004) struggled to do anything behind the hideous line and coaching. Booker suffered the same fate (progressed numbers wise).
2006, more of the same
2007, both coaches gone
so no its not speculation. His numbers steadily decreased (and Leon's) once the OL went bad and the coaching got worse. Those are the factors that held him back (evidently seen by Leon his rookie year as he played much better than his numbers looked in college)
any RB or QB playing in FSU's system the past few years have been held back. Its not a coicident the problems for the offense started the very year Jeff Bowden took over....and thats a fact
and like I said, i dont see how James beating out Jones, Thomas, and a injured/suspended Moss is any more impressive than Smith beating out Booker, Sims (Rivals 100 member), and Edwards (Rivals 100 member).