Wide receiver Keith Gavin is the only player to represent Florida State in the 2020 East-West Shrine Bowl at Tropicana Field. As Gavin sets his hopes on playing in the NFL, he finished his career with the Seminoles making 71 receptions for 901 yards and one touchdown.
Growing up in South Tallahassee and eventually playing high school football for Wakulla High school, Gavin dreamed of playing for the Seminoles and even committed to playing for them when he received an offer as a freshman in high school. But Gavin almost did not go there after a recruitment from Nick Saban and Alabama during his senior year.
“I pretty much grew up a Florida State fan,” Gavin said. “I always told myself the first offer I get from Florida State, I’m committing. They offered me in my freshman year and I committed. I told myself, because I was a fan. I had decommitted from Florida State in the beginning of my senior year, Alabama was recruiting me real hard so I took a visit out there. On signing day, at the end, I came back home to Florida State. I’m actually from South Tallahassee.”
For a local kid, playing in front of the crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium was everything that he could have wanted.
“I love it,” Gavin said. “It’s a great atmosphere out there. It’s everything I imagined growing up coming out of school. It’s a big spotlight.”
Last season didn’t exactly go the way that Seminoles fans wanted it to as the Seminoles went 6-7 and fired coach Willie Taggart in the middle of the season after a loss to Miami. So coming into practice for the East-West Shrine Bowl, Gavin has a lot to prove, as he feels he didn’t necessarily get to show all that he can do during his last year at Florida State.
“I just want to show them what I’m capable of,” Gavin said. “Because I feel like in college, I didn’t have the career I wanted in college. Really here, this week I’m here just to show what I’m capable of, how physical I am and how I can pinpoint the ball. I just want to show that I’m a dog and that I belong on somebody’s roster.”
Gavin had a strong first day of practice, particularly having success on deep balls down the field. He provided a couple of impressive highlights plays and quickly established himself as a down field threat.
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“I just really tried to take advantage of all my opporutnites,” Gavin said. “I love deep balls. Every ball that came my way I try to make a catch and make a play on, I try to play forcibly off the ball every play. Really, I’m just trying to make the best of all my opportunities.
And while he enjoys that nature of his game, there’s a lot more to the player that Gavin is. There’s another part of his skill set that he would say is his best trait on the field.
“My physicality,” Gavin said. “I love to play physical every snap of the ball, run plays, I love blocking. Not too many receivers like to block but I love to block. I just love to play physical and play fast, win routes, and go up over the top of people.”