Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a press conference Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. Norvell is Florida State's new coach, taking over a Seminoles program that has struggled while he was helping to build Memphis into a Group of Five power. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Mike Norvell Updates Florida State Football

Florida State football head coach Mike Norvell enters his third season atop the Seminoles this fall. He previously went 38-15 as the Memphis head coach. In his final year, Norvell led the Tigers to the Cotton Bowl with a 12-1 record.

Though the Seminoles went 3-6 in 2020 and 5-7 last year, Norvell said he feels excited about the continuity his team will experience this year. With lots of guys going into year three, the fundamentals are established, along with the system.

On Thursday, Norvell gave insight into how he’s developing the FSU program and what he sees as the biggest source of growth. He also shared how he always knew he wanted to be a head coach and his connection with Florida head coach Billy Napier.

Norvell’s Take on Recruiting and the Transfer Portal

At the end of the 2022 recruiting cycle, the Seminoles finished No. 20, according to the 247Sports Composite. (The Gators, for reference, finished No. 16.) Norvell said having a staff with connections around the state of Florida makes a big difference.

Beyond high school recruiting, Florida State has experienced its fair share of transfer portal activity in the last few years.

Indeed, he said COVID-19 has only increased transfers.

Former four-star dual-threat quarterback Chubba Purdy, who saw limited action in two years, transferred to Nebraska in January. Now, redshirt junior quarterback Jordan Travis will likely start in 2022. He split time last season with UCF graduate transfer McKenzie Milton, who has since graduated.

On the incoming side, Florida State collected 10 players from the portal this year. 247 Sports regarded all 10 as 3-star transfers.

For Norvell, it’s all about finding the right fit for Florida State, whether a player comes out of high school or another college team.

Norvell Knew He Wanted to Coach

Norvell said he has either played or coached the game of football since he was five years old. Ever since he was in seventh grade, he knew he wanted to be a coach. He wants to make an impact like his coaches had on him.

Billy Napier Connection

Norvell lacks a close personal relationship with Napier, but he does have a connection people may not know about. After Norvell left the offensive coordinator position at Arizona State to lead Memphis in late 2015, Napier took over the job.

Napier served as the Arizona State offensive coordinator from 2016 to 2017. Afterward, he became the head coach at Louisana.

Norvell Building FSU Up

Before Napier’s Gators match up with Norvell’s Seminoles, the squads will begin spring practices. The Gators will begin March 15, while the Noles begin March 5 before taking the next week off for spring break

Norvell acknowledged there have been challenging times through his first two years at Florida State. Sometimes, it’s just about proving you can get through the difficulties while continuing to build in the right way.

After starting out last year 0-4, the Seminoles went 5-3 the rest of the way. They lost their final game and bowl qualifying chances against Florida, with a whiffed onside kick in the final minute. This was one of four games FSU lost by one score.

Hence, the biggest source of growth for Florida State will be consistency.

The Seminoles open their 2022 season with a blank on Aug. 27 versus Duquesne at Doak Cambell Stadium in Tallahassee.

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