Florida State became one of the surprise teams in college football last season with a 10-win campaign. Perhaps even more impressive, the Seminoles not only return most of their production, but still emerged as a big winner in the transfer portal.
Florida State is set to return 87% of its production in 2023, according to ESPN. That includes 80% of the offensive production and 94% on defense. Yet, the Seminoles were more than active on both sides of the ball this transfer cycle.
Although the debate has gone on about who the real “Portal King” is — Lane Kiffin and Lincoln Riley had some fun with that last offseason — On3’s J.D. PicKell thinks Mike Norvell should wear the crown. That’s because the portal isn’t a need for Florida State.
It’s a “luxury.”
“Florida State, no stranger to the portal,” PicKell said on The Hard Count. “Mike Norvell is arguably the Portal King. There’s gonna be a lot of people saying, ‘Well, Lincoln Riley,’ ‘Well, Deion Sanders, Lane Kiffin.’ I hear you. I hear you. But what you don’t understand, Florida State and Mike Novell, they have made their bed this way. They’re no stranger to this game. And they had a lot coming back production-wise. … They didn’t have to go out in the portal and retool some of the positions that they did.
“Still, go and get the top corner and the transfer portal and Fentrell Cypress, one of the best tight ends of the transfer portal in Jaheim Bell from South Carolina. They’re not new to this. … They’re just continuing to stock up. They didn’t have to, but they have the luxury of being able to do that, adding players that can help ensure that they can be competitive for what they want to be competitive for in 2023.”
JD PicKell: Florida State has ‘built to a year like this’
Four of FSU’s 10 portal additions are on the defensive side of the ball, including cornerback Fentrell Cypress — the No. 2-ranked transfer to hit the portal this cycle, according to the On3 Transfer Portal Rankings. On offense, Florida State has offensive tackle Jeremiah Byers and tight end Jaheim Bell, who were the Nos. 12 and 17 transfer, respectively, this cycle.
They aren’t the only big names, considering Florida State has the No. 17-ranked transfer class coming in, according to the On3 Team Transfer Portal Rankings.
This all means Norvell and Co. added impressive pieces to a defense that ranked No. 1 in the ACC in total defense in 2022 and an offense that led the league with 484.2 yards per game. It’s a testament to how Norvell built the program, PicKell said.
“We say it a lot on here now: Florida State, they have built to a year like this,” PicKell said. “They build to a season like this. They’ve gone through the growing pains with Mike Norvell, they’ve gone through a couple portal classes. Now, they’re at the place where it’s not a need to go to the portal. It is a luxury to go to the portal. Did a really good job adding some key pieces. Darrell Jackson, another one they added from Miami, defensive lineman. He’s going to be a guy in the trenches for them that helps ensure some of that defensive line depth.
“So Florida State, not a lot of needs, but a lot of luxury pieces they got to add and help shore up some other pieces of their roster.”
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