Florida State Seminoles

Spring Noles

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Florida State had their annual Garnet and Gold Spring Showcase over the weekend. They had 18,061 fans in attendance.

Doak Campbell Stadium is undergoing renovations so one-half of the stadium did not have bleachers.

They had four guest coaches from the 1999 National Championship Team as guest coaches. Those players were wide receiver Peter Warrick, defensive lineman and current State Senator Corey Simon, running back Travis Minor and linebacker Tommy Polley.

“We’ll roll through some modified timing and the main part of the scoring will be the grand finale,” FSU head coach Mike Norvell said. “We’re excited to get some of the past players from the 1999 team that was really special.”

The FSU quarterbacks debuted a new turquoise jersey to represent Seminole Heritage.

Last season the Seminoles finished the season 13 – 0. They were snubbed from the College Football Playoff and had to ‘settle’ for the Orange Bowl. They had several injuries and players opt-out of playing the game. We all know they were demolished by Georgia, 63 – 3.

Georgia was the opposite and had their key players buy-in and play. I think this says a lot about the culture of the two programs.

Norvell is entering his fifth season in Tallahassee. His record has improved every year. In 2024, he is hoping his team can have the same success as last year but have postseason success.

FSU had the #4 transfer portal recruiting class, so a new group of talented players is on campus. The class is headlined by former five-star QB DJ Uiagalelei. Uiagalelei played at Clemson and Oregon State. He has not lived up to his recruiting ranking thus far and he is trying to finally reach that potential at Florida State.

Last season at Oregon State, he passed for 2,638 yards, 21 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and he completed 57% of his passes. He’s listed as 6’4 and 252 pounds.

They have five incoming Alabama players: linebacker Shawn Murphy, running back Roydell Williams, corner Earl Little II, offensive lineman Terrence Ferguson and receiver Malik Benson.

The other notable transfers are edge rusher Marvin Jones Jr. (Georgia), wide receiver Jalen Brown (LSU), defensive lineman Sione Lolohea (Oregon State) and defensive lineman Tomiwa Durojaiye (West Virginia).

The showcase does not follow a traditional spring game format. The defense started strong, with Marvin Jones Jr. getting a tackle for loss, followed by a half-sack from Jones, joined by defensive lineman Byron Turner Jr.

DJ was an unofficial 13 of 29 passing for 184 yards (including situational work before the scrimmage).

“Wasn’t obviously the cleanest day,” Uiagalelei said.

He got off to a shaky start but he improved. His first pass in the red zone was behind his receiver. He missed on five of his next seven passes. He also had a few passes dropped by his receivers.

He did complete a long pass to Malik Benson. The next play was a 35-yard touchdown run by Roydell Williams. Benson would later leave the contest on a cart with what appeared to be a lower leg injury.

Tight end Jackson West caught a few passes from Uiagalelei that moved the chains.

The defense played very well. Players like Cai Bates and Azareye’h Thomas broke up passes. The defensive front also created pressure.

Redshirt freshman Brock Glenn and freshman Luke Kromenhoek out with minor injuries, freshman Trever Jackson took snaps behind Uiagalelei. He showed poise with a few nice passes, including a 10-yard pass to freshman tight end Landen Thomas.

I’m sure the offense will look like a more cohesive unit in the Fall.


Putting Down The Spear

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The NCAA Committee on Infractions has levied penalties against Florida State’s football program, an assistant coach, one of its’ collectives and a booster for NIL-related recruiting violations.

The NCAA said the assistant coach facilitated impermissible contact between a transfer prospect and a booster in the spring of 2022, driving the prospect to meet with a booster.

During the meeting, the booster encouraged the prospect to enroll at Florida State and offered him an NIL opportunity with the collective worth approximately $15,000 per month during his first year at the school.

The prospect did not enter into an agreement with the booster or receive any related compensation and returned to his school.

FSU offensive coordinator Alex Atkins and former Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims are the two involved.

Mims recently announced he was forgoing the rest of his college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft after the Bulldogs 63-3 win over the Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.

The FSU collective was identified as Rising Spear. Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell was not named in any findings nor was he penalized.

The school and enforcement staff agreed during the investigation the assistant coach also violated unethical conduct rules when he knowingly provided false or misleading information about these violations.

FSU was fined $5,000 plus one percent of its football budget and placed on two years probation with a reduction of five scholarships over the period.

The assistant was given a two-year show-cause order, including a suspension for the first three games of the 2024 season, a two-week restriction on communication and a restriction from off-campus recruiting during the fall 2023 season.

In addition to penalties related to reductions in official paid visits and in-person recruiting days, FSU must also disassociate itself from the booster for three years, and from the collective for one year.

It’s clear that the NCAA wanted to make a point here. Leaders had been saying for nearly a year that the NCAA’s enforcement staff was working on NIL/recruiting inducement cases, but as we all know, the process moves very slowly.

This negotiated resolution and the subsequent booster and collective disassociation penalties are meant to be a warning to collectives that they can’t operate as if NCAA rules don’t apply to them; they aren’t allowed to meet with prospective players, and they aren’t allowed to sign them to deals before they enroll.

This is the NCAA trying to rein in behavior that is obviously happening all over the country: meetings between players in the transfer portal and collectives of potential landing spots. We’ll see if this public example has a nationwide impact.

The most notable penalty here might be the two-year show-cause for Atkins, who was hit pretty hard with the resolution.

Coincidentally, the NCAA approved this week at its convention more penalties around show-causes, which force schools to make a case to the NCAA before hiring a penalized coach.

In the future, schools themselves could receive penalties, such as recruiting restrictions, for hiring a coach under a show-cause.

This is Exhibit A on how toothless and afraid the NCAA is of NIL!


Shafted Seminoles

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

All this College Football Playoff arguing will be moot with the CFP expanding to 12 teams next year.

Arguing over 3- 5 is very different than 10-13. You lose your benefit of the doubt when you lose games. Even in the SEC.

But this year is still a four-team field, and with so many variables factoring into the decision, there is a lot to dissect. And to state it plainly: the College Football Playoff committee got it wrong.

College football has, or at least it used to have up until right now, the best regular season in sports because the games mattered most. We have a smaller sample size in this sport than any other.

To leave out an undefeated 13-0 Florida State in a Power 5 ACC was the wrong decision.

Michigan and Washington, both undefeated with top-10 wins, were the easy ones. The problem for the College Football Playoff committee was that there were three teams with legitimate arguments for the final two slots.

Sorry, Georgia. You didn’t win your conference title, and in this format, that has to count for something.

Alabama and the SEC are the proverbial elephant in this room. Nick Saban is the greatest coach of all time, and to me, this year was the greatest coaching job he’s ever done.

His team got whipped at home by Texas in Week 2 and didn’t look any better struggling with South Florida the following week.

But Jalen Milroe kept making big strides and when it mattered most, the Tide made enough plays to knock off a Bulldog team that wasn’t anywhere near as dominant in their previous two title seasons.

The problem for Alabama and the SEC is Texas. They beat Alabama convincingly in Tuscaloosa. That happened, and there was nothing fluky about it.

The Longhorns went 12-1, but there wasn’t a second-best team in the Big 12 this year. Here’s how it broke down: Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma, and Texas unsurprisingly hammered OSU Saturday.

Remember, this was an Oklahoma State team that went 9-3 and had lost by a combined score of 78-10 against South Alabama and UCF. That wasn’t going to help Texas’ cause.

With that, do we forget that a week ago Alabama barely escaped against Auburn? Auburn got blown out at home the week before by New Mexico State, 31-10.

The bigger issue this year was Florida State, at 13-0 from the ACC. As we all know, FSU’s star quarterback Jordan Travis received a season ending injury near the end of the season. The Seminoles’ backup Tate Rodemaker didn’t look great at arch-rival Florida. He also sustained a concussion.

FSU’s third-stringer, Brock Glenn, had a shaky outing in the ACC Championship Game, but their defense was dominant.

Braden Fiske and Jaden Verse led the Seminoles with 14 TFLs and 7 sacks. Not so coincidentally, that same FSU defense began the year by dominating LSU and the SEC’s biggest star, Jayden Daniels. Florida State held the nation’s No. 1 offense to its worst performance of the season.

FSU was the only team that held Daniels under 60 percent passing in a game. Daniels ran for almost 100 yards less (99) against the Noles than when he played the Crimson Tide.

I get it. The SEC has been the most dominant conference in college football for the past two decades. But this year is not like those other years. Have you been paying attention?

It’s a down year for the SEC. The ACC actually went 6-4 against the SEC in 2023. If this was a one-loss FSU, I’d say they didn’t earn their way in, but they won, so they did.

In the same argument, Texas should not have been left out for a team they beat.

What’s the point of winning if the CFP will  rationalize them away?

Last Laugh

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

After Florida State’s win on Saturday, I wrote that FSU fans should never, ever dismiss rivalry wins. Especially when playing for so much, a loss would be devastating .

10-0 is pretty darn sweet. Even more when considering the last five or six years and THOSE challenges.

Which builds me a bridge to what happened in College Station on Sunday:

And let’s be clear, I’m not here to kick dirt on Jimbo Fisher while he’s down. Well, maybe not a wheelbarrow’s worth. It’s hard to refer to someone getting paid $75 million to not work as ‘down’.  That sounds pretty up to me all things considered.

FSU fans remember and appreciate Jimbo’s run he had and the program he rebuilt in Tallahassee for about a decade. That 2013 team was one of the best in the history of the sport. He won three straight ACC championships and coached in five straight New Year’s Six bowl games.

For a time, Jimbo Fisher was a fantastic coach. He modernized a program that was in desperate need. Fisher’s accomplishments can never be overlooked, but what Jimbo never realized is he needed Florida State as much as Florida State needed Jimbo.

Fisher complained so much during his time in Tallahassee about what he wanted, about how hard it was to get things done or built or paid for or- At the end of his time there, he never came close to appreciating how great his job was.

He intimated repeatedly that Florida State wasn’t committed to winning. Which is, in today’s football, laughable.

He needed more resources. More money. More stuff. More. More. More.

Then he went to a place that has more than anyone. Jimbo fell on his face. Meanwhile, six years later, the place that isn’t committed to winning is 10-0 and ranked in the Top 4.

I truly wonder, on a day like Sunday if it ever hits Jimbo how completely idiotic a decision it was to leave Tallahassee to go coach in the talent wasteland in College Station.

I get it. His bank account has a bunch of extra zeroes now. He’s got all the ranches he could ever want.

For a dude that seemed so competitive, that just loves ball, loves coaching ball, loves winning, he absolutely torpedoed his chances at multiple championships and a lasting legacy because he was too busy whining about what he didn’t have.

Florida State was a punchline for a few years. Even Texas A&M fans, whose program hasn’t won a national title since Bobby Bowden was a 10-year-old boy, had the audacity to make fun of FSU’s plight.

Texas A&M’s savior, the one that Florida State fans warned them about, just got canned. Aggies, welcome to the punchline, you still owe Jimbo the GDP of a small country to go away.

Meanwhile, the Seminoles are  10-0 and two wins away from a perfect regular season.

Florida State has always been a special and dominant brand. Coach Norvell has re-established that.

No one is laughing at the Seminoles anymore.

Chanting Through The Storm

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It is officially Miami week for the Florida State Seminoles.

No. 4 FSU is an early 14.5-point favorite for Saturday’s game, set for 3:30 p.m. at Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Seminoles are 9-0 and 7-0 in Conference, while Miami is 6-3 and 2-3.

Despite dealing with several injuries, Tyler Van Dyke is leading the Hurricanes at quarterback once again this season.

He has 2,057 yards on 170-of-251 passing, which is a solid 67.7 percent completion percentage. But he also has thrown 11 interceptions to go with his 16 touchdowns. Van Dyke has thrown more picks than any quarterback in the ACC.

Freshman QB Emory Williams has also played in four games for the Hurricanes, completing 36 of 48 passes for 295 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

In the running game, Miami has distributed carries between several different backs. Henry Parrish and Don Chaney have shouldered most of the load, but freshman Mark Fletcher ran for 115 yards on 23 carries last Saturday against N.C. State.

Parrish leads the running backs overall with 469 yards and four touchdowns on 77 carries. Chaney has 379 yards and two touchdowns on 75 carries.

Receivers Xavier Restrepo and Jacoby George have  been solid for Miami in the air.

As for the defense, safety James Williams  leads the team in tackles with 51. All-ACC safety Kamren Kinchens and Te’Cory Couch have also been notable leaders in the secondary for Miami. Kinchens has four interceptions on the year (second in the ACC) and Couch has three, tying him for third in the conference.

Freshman Rueben Bains Jr. leads the team with 6.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. His sack total ranks 4th in the conference.

As a team, the Hurricanes have lost three of their last five games, starting with a late collapse against Georgia Tech. Then, they lost at North Carolina before beating Virginia and Clemson in overtime at home. The Hurricanes come into Doak after a 20-6 loss at N.C. State last Saturday.

The Hurricanes rank 38th nationally in scoring offense at 32.1 points per game and 30th in scoring defense at 20.0.

If history is any indication, the odds are very strong that the Florida State football team will defeat Miami this Saturday and improve to 10-0 on the season.

Since 1997, the earliest point spread records available online, Florida State is a perfect 5-0 when favored by double-digits against the rival Miami Hurricanes. And UM has never lost to FSU when favored by that much.

Miami is a bit of a mess right now (always?), but I think the game states that the Hurricanes are likely to be playing angry against Florida State. I think Miami might be able to find a little more success through the air than one would expect. Meanwhile, Florida State should be getting a little healthier on the offensive side of the ball.

FSU 38 Miami 13

Loud War Chant

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

On the heels of the Seminoles’ 45-24 drubbing of No. 5 LSU on Sunday night, it’s time for my 3-2-1, where I offer up three observations and one prediction about Florida State football.

Three things I  learned.

1 — This team’s chemistry might be even stronger than 2022:

You didn’t have to be a scout to like Florida State’s roster entering the 2023 season.

The Seminoles were bringing back the vast majority of their production from a 10-3 team, and they brought in a slew of talented, experienced transfers to add to the mix.

At wide receiver, tight end, cornerback and on the O and D  lines, Florida State landed several of the very best players in the transfer portal. You saw many of them shine Sunday night against LSU — everyone from Keon Coleman, Jaheim Bell and Jeremiah Byers to Braden Fiske, Fentrell Cypress and Gilber Edmond.

Physically, I think most of us expected the Seminoles to be a better football team this fall than last.

While it was only one game, and there undoubtedly will be more difficult moments down the road, there were a ton of great signs of the togetherness and commitment these players have for each other.

From the defense delivering two huge fourth-down stops in the first half, to the offense sticking together until things began to click late in the second quarter.

Jordan Travis displayed remarkable leadership after a couple of costly early mistakes and drops.

We don’t know if it will always be like this. Heck, emotions and circumstances derail college football teams all the time. I thought it was fair to wonder how this team might be affected by lengthy expectations with a changing roster and the complications that come with money.

To the contrary, I think this team might have even more positive energy and leadership than the program did in 2022. And that is saying something.

2 – Second-quarter drive spoke volumes:

As poorly as Florida State’s offense was performing for most of the first two quarters Sunday night, there was a real chance FSU ended  in too big of a hole at halftime to climb out from.

They were trailing 14-7 midway through the second quarter. The offense had just finished their last four drives with three punts and an interception. There was another near-interception in there that could have been disastrous — deep in FSU territory.

When the Seminoles got possession at their own 25-yard line with 6:02 remaining in the first half, I felt like they were teetering on disaster.

If the offense didn’t find the end zone on that drive, Florida State likely would have been trailing by two scores at halftime, and LSU would have had a ton of momentum, a world of confidence, and a winning chance.

The second half the Seminoles took control of the game. But those early fourth-down stops — and that big answer by Travis in the second quarter — are what made their win possible.

3 – Player development was on full display:

The transfers will get most of the attention, and rightfully so.

Former Michigan State star Keon Coleman caught three touchdown passes. Former South Carolina star Jaheim Bell scored two touchdowns of his own. Transfers played well in their  FSU debut.

But several “program players” — guys who have been at FSU for their entire careers — came through at important moments and showed just how far they have come during their time in Tallahassee. Here are a few who stood out Sunday:

Linebacker DJ Lundy came through with a huge fourth-down sack of LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels to thwart one scoring opportunity, and he was in on another tackle for loss.

Lundy now looks like a completely different player than when he was forced into early action back in 2020 and 2021.

This defense will give Florida State every opportunity to achieve any goal this season, and Jordan Travis & the offense is explosive. I am calling it now FSU 13-0.

Fans, time to buy your playoff tickets.

Fear The Spear

By: Garrison Ryfun

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Excitement is in the air in Tallahassee, Florida.

For the first time since 2017, Florida State is ranked in the preseason top ten.

Everything seems to be coming together for the Seminoles to have the breakout season they want to have in 2023.

It helps that Florida State has 87% of its production returning, #1 in the country according to ESPN.

It also helps that FSU brought in some highly coveted transfers to plug in holes, the #6 Transfer class in the country according to 247Sports.

How does this Florida State team perform in 2023? Let’s take a closer look at each phase of the game.

Offense: This should be the strength of this team that is returning starters like Jordan Travis, Johnny Wilson, and Trey Benson.

Last season Jordan Travis went 226/353 (64%) for 3214 yards 24 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. One of the biggest improvements season over season that I have ever seen at quarterback.

Trey Benson and Johnny Wilson both had breakout seasons after transferring to FSU.

Trey Benson, transferring in from Oregon, carried the ball 154 times for 990 yards and 9 TDs. Johnny Wilson, standing at 6’7″ 237lbs, had 43 catches for 897 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Both had adversity to overcome. Benson had a bad knee injury while at Oregon and Johnny Wilson had major drop issues while at Arizona State. Benson and Wilson, who defenses had issues stopping last year, are now going to be paired alongside even more weapons in 2023.

Enter Jaheim Bell, Keon Coleman, and Winston Wright.

Jaheim Bell, from Valdosta, transfers in from South Carolina and brings elite athleticism and tons of versatility to the FSU offense. Bell not only played tight end at South Carolina, but he was also deployed at running back last season after some injuries piled up.

Keon Coleman, transferring from Michigan State, had 58 catches for 798 yards and 7 touchdowns. Standing at 6’4, Coleman provides another long target for Jordan Travis to throw to and has really turned heads this fall camp.

Winston Wright is more your prototypical slot receiver, who sadly broke his leg last offseason in a car accident that was not his fault. Will he be back to his pre-injury self in 2023? If so, defenses will have a tough time guarding.

The offensive line should be the deepest it has been since 2013/2014 for Florida State, with at least eight guys still battling for starting spots right now: Jeremiah Byers, Bless Harris, Robert Scott, Maurice Smith, D’Mitri Emmanuel, Casey Roddick, Keiondre Jones, and Darius Washington. Some combo of those names will be the starting five.

I expect Florida State to have a top five offense when it is all said and done.

Defense: The defensive line will be the most talented group on this defense. The starting four of Jared Verse, Fabien Lovett, Braden Fiske, and Patrick Payton will give nightmares to opposing quarterbacks.

Jared Verse may be the best recruiting job Mike Norvell did in 2022, getting a guy who would have been drafted to come back and continue his development speaks volumes for this program.

The linebacker tandem of Tatum Bethune and Kalen Deloach is the most solid set of starters FSU has had in a long time, though the depth behind them is almost nonexistent.

DJ Lundy will be the next man up at the linebacker position and is also the starting fullback when FSU uses one on offense.

The defensive back room, now coached by Patrick Surtain, has not been publicly solidified starter-wise, but there are plenty of impressive options that FSU has to choose from. At cornerback, one starter will likely be All-ACC selection Fentrell Cypress who transferred in from Virginia.

Others fighting for spots at the other corner spot and nickel position are Renardo Green, Azareye’h Thomas, Jarrian Jones, and Greedy Vance Jr.

At the safety position returning starter Akeem Dent comes back while Shyheim Brown and Kevin Knowles battle for playing time at the other safety spot, and they will both likely play a lot this season.

I expect this defense to once again improve year over year under defensive coordinator Adam Fuller.

Special Teams: After struggling with kicking the last few years, FSU has a kicking competition going between Ryan Fitzgerald, from Colquitt County, and transfer Tyler Keltner. If the Seminoles want to win big this year they need a consistent kicker.

Punter Alex Mastromanno returns for his final season averaging 42.7 yards per punt in his career.

Conclusion: I am projecting FSU to go 11-1, with a loss to Clemson, in the new division-less ACC putting up big numbers on offense and setting up a pivotal ACC Championship game this December.

Greener Grass

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

In a talk that generated headlines across the ACC, Florida State Seminole athletic director Michael Alford pointed out the difference in projected conference revenue between the ACC, the Big Ten, and SEC once their new media rights deals begin.

It’s true, FSU does not have a viable escape route anytime soon. In the Texas/OU and USC/UCLA cases, the schools waited to leave until their leagues’ Grant of Rights were up. (Two Big 12 schools have since negotiated an early exit.)

The ACC’s deal goes another 13 years. In that board meeting, FSU’s general counsel threw out $120 million as a cost to leave the ACC, but as best I can tell, that’s just the league’s exit fee.

The cost to buy back more than a decade’s worth of your own TV rights from the conference would be exponentially more.

It’s been suggested that FSU and Clemson (or others) could challenge the Grant of Rights in court, but contracts that deal with millions of dollars tend to be pretty ironclad. If they weren’t, someone would have challenged one already.

FSU, as well as Clemson, are posturing for unequal revenue sharing, under the premise they bring more value than the other 12 schools, the implicit threat is lingering: if you don’t pay us, we’ll leave eventually.

This story is similar to USC’s decade of largely behind-the-scenes grumbling, but this time the other schools have no short-term incentive to agree to it. The best case the pair could make might be,

“We’re your conference’s best hope of winning a national championship in football. The 12-team Playoff Model is expected to be more performance-based than presently, if a big money team like Clemson or FSU wins three games in the playoffs en route to the 2026 national title, everyone reaps benefits.”

I don’t think anyone wants to take in less money than they are currently making. The question is one of leverage. Do Florida State, Clemson and others have actual leverage in today’s negotiations?

They’re locked into a deal with the ACC through 2036 that could cost more than $300 million to break between just exit fees and the grant of rights.

If those schools do not have offers in hand to join the Big Ten or the SEC, can they really force the rest of the conference to acquiesce on this?

For what it’s worth, I’m not sure shuffling around a few million dollars per year actually closes the revenue gaps Alford was talking about with his board.

If FSU gets, say, $5 million more per year than it does now, does that actually close the gap it’s staring down with powerhouses like Georgia? Or is this more of a philosophical conversation?

The ACC should be thinking externally, not internally, and figuring a way to generate more revenue, because soon their schools are going to be sharing it with their athletes

I see the anxiety and hear the chatter from FSU fans every day. Everyone’s worried about revenue, stratification and falling behind. So it may help fans to hear your leaders fighting for more. But I’m also not sure there’s going to be enough of a force to force real change.

My two cents: Though I do recommend making some effort to keep your marquee programs happy, FSU does not have much leverage here. You’re talking about a “threat” that might not come to fruition for more than a decade, by which point the sport’s traditional conference model could be abandoned entirely.

Who knows what will happen in 13 years’ time, programs can only plan for the near future.


By: Garrison Ryfun

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

At the end of the first transfer period, two teams stand at the top of the transfer portal recruiting rankings according to 247Sports: LSU and Florida State.

Florida State and LSU started the season last year in a Sunday night thriller that ended with an extra point blocked by FSU.

Since that 24-23 win, both teams went on to have great regular seasons and both wound up winning a bowl sponsored by Cheez-It in Orlando. (LSU winning the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl and FSU winning the Cheez-It Bowl).

In an exciting week 1 rematch to start the 2023 season, both teams will pick up where they left off – in Orlando, at Camping World Stadium.

This neutral site matchup is sure to be another classic opening weekend game, with the winner having a great resume-building win for the final four-team playoff in 2023.

But how did these teams, who started the year unranked in 2022, become likely two preseason top ten teams? Good coaching and the transfer portal.

Names like Jayden Daniels for LSU or Jared Verse for FSU, both helped elevate the ceiling of the programs they transferred into in 2022.

Now heading into the 2023 season, with Florida State and LSU sitting on top of the transfer recruiting rankings let’s see who they brought in through the portal:


Aaron Anderson (WR) from Alabama

Paris Shand (Edge) from Arizona

Jalen Lee (DL) from Florida

Bradyn Swinson (Edge) from Oregon

Denver Harris (CB) from Texas A&M

Jordan Jefferson (DL) from West Virginia

Zy Alexander (CB) from Southeastern Lousiana

Darian Chestnut (CB) from Syracuse

Jakailin Johnson (CB) from Ohio State

Ovie Oghofu (LB) from Texas

Omar Speights (LB) from Oregon State

LSU went hard after defensive lineman and cornerbacks, grabbing four of each during this cycle to help shore up holes. They also were able to grab a stud linebacker in Omar Speights to have in tandem with rising star Harold Perkins.


Darrell Jackson (DL) from Miami (Fl)

Jaheim Bell (TE) from South Carolina

Kyle Morelock (TE) from Shorter University

Casey Roddick (IOL) from Colorado

Jeremiah Byers (OT) from UTEP

Keiondre Jones (IOL) from Auburn

Braden Fiske (DL) from Western Michigan

Fentrell Cypress (CB) from Virginia

Gilber Edmond (DE) from South Carolina

Tyler Keltner (K) from ETSU


FSU looked to add the lines of scrimmage, adding three offensive and three defensive linemen to their roster.

They were also able to plug a big hole at tight end, by bringing in two athletic college standouts.

They were able to secure the commitment from a transfer kicker, creating a competition there this offseason.

Finally, the biggest get for their class was likely Fentrell Cypress, a shutdown corner from Virginia – a piece the Noles have been missing since 2021.

In an age when questions are being asked about the sustainability of transfer portal recruiting, and whether or not it’s possible to win a championship with schools taking ten or more transfers a year – Florida State and LSU, teams using this newer model, will likely start the 2023 season in a top ten matchup that can have serious playoff implications.

War Chief

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Most Florida State fans and media expected to see improvement from the FSU football team in 2022; few could have honestly predicted that the Seminoles would go 10-3 with wins over the likes of Florida, Miami, LSU and Oklahoma after their lackluster 2021.

Coming into the 2022 season, it would be Jordan Travis’ first year as a full-time starter but his third year in the system. On top of that, it would be Travis’ first opportunity to be the unquestioned leader of the Seminoles’ offense, which comes with large potential upside.

Travis not only emerged as Florida State’s best starting quarterback since Jameis Winston, but one of the very best in the country.

In leading the Seminoles to a 10-3 record, Travis completed 226 of 353 passes (64.0 percent) for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also rushed for 417 yards and five touchdowns and even hauled in a touchdown catch.

Travis was named second-team All-ACC. He showed great improvement as a passer and appeared completely confident in his third season in Norvell’s offense.

Since the Seminoles didn’t have a proven backup, some worried that the season could be derailed at any moment.

Fortunately for FSU, backup QB Tate Rodemaker showed great composure and led the Seminoles to a 35-31 win over Louisville.

Rodemaker’s stellar performance in a hostile environment, along with Travis’ ability to rebound quickly from injury is what alleviated most of those concerns.

After Travis’s start against Boston College, it turned out he would remain healthy for the rest of the year, and play in all 13 games.

Based on Travis’ performance and Rodemaker’s improvement as a redshirt sophomore, the Seminoles discovered one of the best quarterback situations in college football by the end of the season.

Travis didn’t waste much time in announcing that he would return and he already is appearing on some early Heisman predictions. Rodemaker and AJ Duffy are also expected to be back, and the Seminoles also will bring in freshman Brock Glenn, a four-star prospect from Memphis.

Travis not only led Florida State to its first 10-win season since 2016, but according to Pro Football Focus, he was the best Power 5 quarterback in the nation.

The way Jordan Travis played in the second half of this season, and with the moves the Seminoles are making in player retention and in the transfer takes, I think Florida State is poised to take another big step next season.