Clinton’s Cam Akers, a high school quarterback ranked by most as the No. 1 college running back prospect in the nation, will be a Florida State Seminole.

Clinton quarterback Cam Akers passes against Pearl in the MHSAA Class 6A football championship game in Starkville. Credit: Rogelio V. Solis, AP

“I’ll be spending the next four years of my career at Florida State University,” Akers, dressed in a gray suit, with a yellow tie, said, picking up an FSU cap from among a group of six, including Ole Miss, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

Aker’s selection was video-streamed live Tuesday night from the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

Akers said he made his decision two days ago after months of soul-searching.

“It was the best situation for me and my family,” Akers said. “It’s not that far away. It’s been a hard process but I made my decision and I am happy with it.”

Ole Miss was the lone in-state school in the Akers sweepstakes at the end, but Akers chose the Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse 440 miles southeast of his hometown. He is expected to enroll in January.

Florida State has won three national championships and 18 conference titles. The Seminoles have achieved three undefeated seasons and produced three Heisman Trophy winners. Current FSU running back Dalvin Cook, a junior who rushed for 1,620 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, is ranked by many as the top running back available in the 2017 NFL Draft.

“We’re 100 percent behind him whatever he decides,” Clinton coach Jud Boswell said in an interview just before Akers’ announcement. “He’s done so much for Clinton High, our community and the state of Mississippi.”

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.