Florida State head coach Mike Norvell has become known for his prowess when it comes to developing running backs after placing multiple players in the NFL at Memphis and with the Seminoles. Four running backs from Norvell’s time with the Tigers are currently among the professional ranks while former ‘Nole Jashaun Corbin is a member of the New York Giants practice squad.
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The success has continued into this season as Florida State found a diamond in the rough in former Oregon running back, Trey Benson. The Seminoles had three running backs record 100+ yards rushing in a single game for the first team in program history to kick off the year.
With that being said, Norvell and Florida State might find themselves thinking about the one that got away.
Former Seminole running back Khalan Laborn has been putting together an absolute tear with the Marshall Thundering Herd. Laborn has crossed the century mark in each of his first seven appearances with the program. The success has placed him in uncharted territory.
The former five-star prospect became the first player to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in seven games at Marshall.
In total, Laborn has recorded 188 carries for 1,002 yards and 12 touchdowns. He totaled a career-high 191 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Gardner-Webb earlier this month. Laborn has scored two rushing touchdowns in five games this season and he’s broken 150+ yards four times.
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In comparison, Florida State’s running back unit (Benson, Treshaun Ward, Lawrance Toafili, Rodney Hill) has scored 11 combined rushing touchdowns this season. Laborn guided Marshall to an upset at Notre Dame in week 2 behind 163 yards and a score on the ground. The Thundering Herd is well on their way to becoming bowl eligible.
The 5-foot-11, 212-pound running back originally signed with Florida State in 2017 as a member of a star-studded running back class that also included Cam Akers (Los Angeles Rams) and Zaquandre White (Miami Dolphins). Despite redshirting as a true freshman, Laborn looked like he could break out ahead of the 2018 season. He caught a 37-yard pass in his first career appearance before being knocked out for the season the following week.
Laborn rehabbed from the knee injury to return for the entire 2019 season. He recorded 63 carries for 297 yards (4.7 YPC) and four touchdowns. Laborn added ten catches for 66 yards.
After being dismissed from the program in 2020, Laborn stayed in Tallahassee to earn his degree at Florida State. He’s overcome the adversity and is flouring during what may be his final season of collegiate eligibility.
READ MORE: Mike Norvell, coordinators discuss Fabien Lovett’s upcoming return
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