ESPN Releases ‘Pre-Spring’ FSU Football SP+ Rankings

“Mike Norvell once again did nice work in the portal, bringing in a number of experienced, high-upside players with major-conference starting experience”

 

 

Spring practices are around the corner for Florida State as they look to develop and reload in hopes of making another run at the ACC and the College Football Playoffs. The ‘Noles are set to have 12 players heading to the NFL Combine from the 2023 season, and most of their production has pursued careers at the next level

 

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Still, there has been a lot of talent brought in through the transfer portal and recruiting, and ESPN’s Bill Connelly has bought stock of what head coach Mike Norvell has proven in terms of development and an eye for talent from the NCAA Transfer Portal.

 

ESPN recently released their preseason SP+ rankings, and the Florida State Seminoles landed inside the top 25 at No. 12. 

 

“The end of the Seminoles’ 2023 season was about as negative as any you’ll see, with FSU first getting screwed out of a CFP bid, then suffering loads of opt-outs and getting their doors blown off by Georgia in the Orange Bowl,” Connelly stated.” But SP+ is giving them some benefit of the doubt here, in part because Mike Norvell once again did nice work in the portal, bringing in a number of experienced, high-upside players with major-conference starting experience (most noteworthy: Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei). FSU might not have 2023-level upside, but the floor should still be pretty high.”

 

The SP+ rankings that Connelly follows are broken into three separate sections: returning production, recent recruiting, and recent history so as of now, it is a fair assessment of where the Seminoles are heading into spring. 

 

On offense, the ‘Noles will be returning talented running back Lawrance Toafili, whom Caziah Holmes and Alabama transfer Roydell Williams will complement. This will give Uiagalelei some options out of the backfield. With Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson heading to the NFL, redshirt senior wide receivers Kentron Poiter and Darion Williamson will likely take charge, complemented by ‘Bama transfer Malik Benson and Ja’Khi Douglas heading into spring. Talented underclassmen Hykeem Williams and Destyn Hill are expected to take the next step in their game.

 

Defensively, there will be a major hole left by projected first-rounder Jared Verse, but the Seminoles still have talented edge rusher Patrick Payton, who had 43 tackles, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles a year ago. Complimented by Georgia Transfer Marvin Jones, Jr. and a reasonably deep tackle room, the defensive line should at least be serviceable as the roster gets into the swing of things. 

 

In the secondary, Florida State will lose Renardo Green, Akeem Dent, and Jarrian Jones but still retain Shyheim Brown, Greedy Vance, Fentrell Cypress II, and Azareye’h Thomas while adding Alabama transfer Earl Little, Jr. 

 

Spring will give these transfers and freshmen time to adapt to the system and provide more insight into how the Seminoles will fare in 2024.

 

 

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the offseason.

 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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