Return Of The Seminoles
By: Robert Craft
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
It started with a block in New Orleans and ended with a sack in Orlando. Those two moments felt like bookends to a resurged Florida State football program.
I don’t know if Florida State football is “back.” A Cheez-It Bowl victory is a step in the right direction.
But man, how sweet it must feel, a team that went from five wins a season ago to a 10-wins today.
It’s not easy to double your victory total in a year, but that’s exactly what the Florida State football team did this season. So, what outlook does that give the Seminoles in the 2023 season?
Florida State has already received a slew of good news about next season, with stars and starters like Jordan Travis, Trey Benson, Mycah Pittman, Robert Scott, Kalen Deloach, Tatum Bethune, Jarrian Jones, Renardo Green and others announcing they are coming back for the 2023 season.
“The Big Three” we still don’t know about are defensive end Jared Verse, defensive tackle Fabien Lovett and defensive back Jammie Robinson.
Verse and Robinson have said they will make their decisions in the coming days. Lovett hasn’t spoken publicly in weeks.
Norvell and his staff have done yeoman work in the portal this cycle. They’ve brought in one of the top offensive tackles Jeremiah Byers from UTEP), a potential starting guard (Casey Roddick from Colorado), two of the top tight ends (Jaheim Bell from South Carolina and Kyle Morlock from Shorter), maybe the best defensive tackle (Braden Fisk from Western Michigan), a rising-star defensive tackle (Darrell Jackson from Miami) and arguably the top cornerback ( Fentrell Cypress from Virginia).
That’s six potential starters; seven important rotation guys acquired in about three weeks.
To speak frankly, Norvell needed to hit the portal to supplement FSU’s lackluster high school recruiting. The Seminoles’ 2023 signing class ranked 19th; the 2022 class ranked 24th.
Sustainability when building by the transfer portal is a legit question. FSU, LSU and USC, among others, brought in big transfer groups in the offseason, and all had successful seasons. Does this foreshadow what the future of college football will look like?
I think most would agree that Florida State was the best team in the ACC during the second half of the season, and I think the Seminoles are going to be better in 2023.
I can’t say the same for the Clemson Tigers, the team that had a stranglehold on the ACC for the past decade.
With the way Jordan Travis played in the second half of this season, and with the moves the Seminoles’ staff is making in both player retention and in the transfer portal; Florida State is poised for another growth spurt next season.
And unless something changes at Clemson, (with declining talent in both players and coaches), there’s a very good chance they will continue to fall.
I won’t be the only person who writes this during this coming offseason, but I will definitely be among the first: For the first time since 2014, Florida State will be favored to win the ACC next season.