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Corey Clark: Losing Farmer would sting, but Florida State still way ahead in college football import/export game

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Corey Clark: Losing Farmer would sting, but Florida State still way ahead in college football import/export game

The transfer portal giveth. Oh, does it giveth.

But sometimes it taketh away, too.

That’s the world of college football in 2023, and that’s the world Florida State fans are dealing with right now after Joshua Farmer announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal on Tuesday.

In total, of course, Mike Norvell and the Seminoles have been killing it in the portal over the last two years. Maybe better than any program in the country. The arrivals have been far more talented and impactful, on the whole, than the departures.

And that’s still the case today. Heck, it’s still the case at Farmer’s position.

Darrell Jackson, assuming he gets that waiver from the NCAA, is a more proven defensive tackle right now than Farmer. So is Braden Fiske, who was limited this spring because of a late-season shoulder injury at Western Michigan. Even though he couldn’t show it much in March and April, Fiske’s athleticism is real. So is that size and strength. There’s a reason he was one of the most coveted interior linemen in the country during the first portal window.

With those two transfers, alongside returning starter Fabien Lovett, the Seminoles still should have one of the top interior defensive line rotations in the country. Health permitted, of course.

But that doesn’t mean losing Farmer wouldn’t sting.

(Also See: Tuesday night news update on the Farmer situation. Could he still stay?)

Although he hasn’t yet proven as much as those other veterans on Saturdays, Farmer really seemed to take his game to another level this spring. He appeared to be working himself into not only a potential starter on the defensive line but maybe a star.

“Dominant” is how Norvell described him. And at that size (6-foot-3, 304 pounds), he had a chance to be a special talent for the Seminoles for the next two years.

Now, apparently, he’s planning on leaving.

Even though he was going to get plenty of reps in 2023 and even though he was VERY much appreciated by his coaching staff.

That’s life in college football.

Is he looking to leave because he wants more playing time? Because he wants more money? Did Farmer look at Jackson, a former high school teammate of his by the way, these last few weeks and decide he might not get as many snaps as he could elsewhere? Did another school, or a proxy from that school, get in his ear and let him know his NIL “deal” could be even sweeter than what FSU collective The Battle’s End was willing to offer?

Is it a combination of all of those factors? I don’t know. And honestly, I really don’t care.

I just know that until there are parameters on Name, Image and Likeness — if there ever are — this is just the reality of the new normal in college football. Whether a kid like Farmer or Derrick McLendon or Sam McCall leaves because of the fit or the depth chart or a position coach, the assumption will almost always be that it was a financial decision.

I don’t know what the going rate is out there for a redshirt sophomore defensive tackle who had 15 tackles a season ago. I just know that Florida State fans — well, college football fans in general — just have to get used to this. It’s going to keep happening.

The better your program is, the better talent you bring in, the more your talented backups and rotation players are likely to be poached. And I do think Farmer was on the cusp of being a really good college football player. It just turns out the last 2 1/2 years of development could now pay off for another program.

What are you going to do?

It’s not like FSU fans can get too upset about this. After all, look what Norvell has done to all these other schools.

Heck, just look at poor South Carolina for crying out loud. Norvell has been steady taking starters from that program. So far, with the possible exception of McLendon (though I think Patrick Payton was going to start ahead of him either way), Norvell hasn’t lost any starters.

But he has lost contributors. McLendon was one. Malik McClain was one. And I think McCall was going to be one.

By the way, how’s about you stop recruiting guys with the “Mc” last name for a while, Florida State? It seems obvious now those dudes aren’t sticking around. Somebody needs to keep an eye on walk-on quarterback Dylan McNamara. He might already have his bags packed. Same for walk-on defensive lineman Liam McCormick.

But hey, the Seminoles will always have Kez McCorvey and Bryant McFadden! Those two Mc’s stuck it out for the long haul.

As for the rest of this roster, look, Farmer wasn’t the last one to strongly consider leaving. We know there will be at least a couple more. And as this program gets better, these won’t all be guys you just shrug off.

Farmer was expected to be a key member of this defense.

And if Jackson, for some reason, doesn’t get that NCAA waiver, then this transfer goes from stinging to an outright gut punch. Just like it will be a gut punch if two years from now you watch Farmer’s name called during the NFL Draft with another school next to his name.

It’s no fun to evaluate these guys, recruit these guys, develop these guys and then watch other coaches win with them.

But this is portal life, baby. This is how it works. And despite Tuesday’s news, nobody is working the portal quite like Florida State (Colorado doesn’t count, because Colorado is a reality TV experiment).

This offseason, you brought in two potential NFL draft picks at defensive tackle and maybe you just lost one as well. But Farmer, like McCall, is potentially a good player. Jackson and Fiske are already there, in my opinion.

So, you’re still ahead at the position, even if Farmer leaves. Just like you are at cornerback, offensive tackle, offensive guard, receiver, running back, linebacker, tight end and on and on and on. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is feeling sorry for Florida State when it comes to the portal.

Florida State is a Top 10 team right now because of it. And Florida State might remain in the Top 10 for the foreseeable future because of it, too.

If you can keep winning the import/export game at this rate, you’re always going to have a chance to be good.

The Seminoles might have lost a valuable export on Tuesday. We’ll see if he follows through and actually transfers to another school.

Either way, those imports still more than make up for it.

Contact senior writer Corey Clark at [email protected] and follow @Corey_Clark on Twitter.

Talk about this story with other die-hard FSU football fans on the Tribal Council.

The post Corey Clark: Losing Farmer would sting, but Florida State still way ahead in college football import/export game appeared first on On3.

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