Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (13) looks for a receiver...

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (13) looks for a receiver as Miami linebacker K.J. Cloyd (23) closes during the first half of an NCAA college football game Nov. 11, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. Travis says he discarded the walking boot he'd been wearing about a week ago, and he's just grateful to see two shoes when he looks down. If all goes well, he also says he expects to be back on the field in May or June — a prognosis that could help his draft stock. Credit: AP/Colin Hackley

INDIANAPOLIS — Quarterback Jordan Travis walked to the podium Friday at the NFL's annual scouting combine in regular shoes, the next step in his recovery from the fractured left leg that ended his final college season and severely damaged Florida State’s playoff hopes.

For Travis, Friday's appearance was a milestone moment.

“I got my boot off about a week ago, so it's pretty special,” he said. “I look down at my shoes and I'm so grateful. It's been a journey, for sure, my family has helped me get through.”

But he came with even better news for himself and perhaps for the league's decision makers. Travis said he expects to be back on the field in May or June, perhaps giving him time to begin offseason work with whatever team drafts him in April.

Prior to the injury, Travis was considered to be one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates as he led the Seminoles to an 11-0 mark. The Seminoles won the next week without Travis before capturing the ACC championship for a 13-0 mark — making them the first undefeated Power Five team not to make the playoff.

Now, with the help of doctors and trainers at Florida State and the support of family, friends and teammates, Travis is on the mend.

“I knew there was going to be a day (the boot came off), I didn't know what day that would be,” he said. “But all glory to God, glory to my family, I couldn't do it without them. My friends, they pushed me every single day. Every day I wake up, I struggle with the boot because you've got to sleep with a big boot on your foot. So I have my two shoes on right now, I'm so grateful.”

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams speaks during a press conference...

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, March 1, 2024. Credit: AP/Michael Conroy

PLAYFUL WILLIAMS

Quarterback Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, could be the top pick in this year's draft. He also showed his playful side Friday, at the expense of his former Southern California teammate, receiver Brenden Rice.

After Williams finished his interview session, he walked into the crowd of reporters and started asking Rice how it felt to be the son of a Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice.

“Man, it feels even better to be a teammate of Caleb Williams,” Brenden Rice said.

Williams quickly followed up with a question about whether fantasy league players should draft the younger Rice as wide receiver one or a flex play?

“Wide receiver one, obviously," Rice said. "Me and you, we had 45 catches and 12 touchdowns, that’s unheard of. I had a pretty damn good quarterback.”

Williams responded: "I appreciate you. You have a nice day.”

NO-SHOW MARVIN

All-American receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is expected to be the first non-quarterback to be drafted in April. And although he was back in Indy about to work out on the same field where his father once played, Harrison opted not to participate in the interview sessions.

Then again, Harrison has taken an unconventional approach to the draft.

He did not train for the combine drills, does not plan to work out in Indianapolis and is not scheduled to work out at Ohio State's pro day later this month. Instead, he's just working out as he normally does, preparing for next season. He's betting his absences won't affect his draft stock.

THE MANNING EFFECT

In Indianapolis, the Mannings are never far from the football discussion — and that applies to the first player in the family's third generation of quarterbacks.

Texas receiver Xavier Worthy watched Arch Manning's progression last season playing behind Quinn Ewers. Manning played in just two games as a freshman, but Worthy thinks playing the backup role will help him.

The biggest difference right now, Worthy believes, is experience.

“I feel like Arch being behind Quinn and learning and getting a feel for the offense, it’s good for him," Worthy said. “He obviously has the talent and the greatest work (ethic). Playing behind Quinn and when his time comes, I feel like he’s going to shine.”

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