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Weekly Mailbag: Mike Norvell, buying in, and March Madness

Last week’s mailbag

January is a big month for Florida State athletics. Recruiting is in full swing for Mike Norvell and his staff, who will host the first of three official visit weekends leading up to National Signing Day starting today. All four official visitors are in Tallahassee and have been on campus today. It’s clear that Norvell is working hard to secure the final members of #Tribe20.

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While these may seem like very small things, it’s all about details for Norvell. He looks at the football facilities as a place of business where individualism can have an adverse impact on the team as a whole.

On the hardwood, FSU Basketball has taken the conference lead after defeating Virginia on Wednesday and Miami earlier today. The Blue Devils fell on the road to Clemson on Tuesday night so there’s a chance Leonard Hamilton’s squad could hop them in the polls come Monday depending on how they play against Louisville. At this point, Florida State has just two regular-season games remaining against ranked competition so the potential is there for the program’s first-ever regular-season ACC title. It should be an exciting finish.

Let’s see what we have in the mailbag this week.


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Record for football next year? – @dylbuice

I think we’ll see at least eight wins with the potential to be bumped up to nine depending on the final players Mike Norvell adds to the roster. I’m interested to see how the team continues to progress over the offseason before I make a definite and final prediction.

What season do you think FSU can make the playoffs? – @bert_sadler

I believe that scenario will start being viable against in three to four years. Norvell needs to get the guys that fit his system in here for the program to truly reach its potential.

Is there a scenario where FSU heads into next year with Purdy as starting QB? – @d_g_nole86

Definitely, depending on what happens in the spring, there’s still a chance James Blackman could transfer elsewhere like some of the other guys that have left this offseason. If Blackman leaves, I think the starting job comes down to Chubba Purdy and Tate Rodemaker, who’s an early enrollee. I’m not convinced Jordan Travis is the best fit at quarterback in this offense but it could be a possibility if he works on his arm this summer.

If Blackman does come back, it’ll definitely be less likely for Purdy to win the job but you can tell how much the staff likes him.

If you could have any former ‘Nole back for next season, who would it be? – @alex_is_me_05

This is a tough one. If we’re saying a recent ‘Nole, I’d go with left tackle Cam Erving because Florida State needs a competent offensive lineman to be able to protect the quarterback’s blindside in 2020. Right now, they don’t have an option like that on the roster.

If this is any Seminole ever, I’d still go with a left tackle, Walter Jones.

Will we win eight games in year one under Norvell? – @michaelsimitses

At this point, that’s around where the bar should be set. The barometer could shift one way or another, it all depends on how this offseason keeps progressing.

What are your expectations for Norvell? – @ryan.bruner

Recruiting wise, he’s already blown my expectations out of the water with what he did during the Early Signing Period. It was impressive to keep #Tribe20 mostly intact while adding two quarterbacks and some other talented guys, that was big-time from Norvell and the staff.

On the field, I want to see a team that is disciplined and plays focused for four quarters. A defense that doesn’t kill itself with stupid mistakes and penalties and an offense that shows consistency throughout an entire game.

What is your prediction for FSU’s tournament run this year? – @lukelmore

The Final Four is within reach with what Leonard Hamilton has built in Tallahassee. There’s no true champion at this point in the college basketball season and this is the time when Florida State could separate themselves. If this team stays hot through the ACC Tournament, watch out. I don’t bet against Trent Forrest in NCAA Tournaments.

Are current players buying into Norvell and the new staff – @jrock_nole

From everything we’ve heard at NoleGameday, absolutely. The players aren’t just buying in on Norvell, they’re also already connecting with the other assistants. A player on the team recently told us how impressed they were by TJ Rushing and that they’d heard some great things about him. These relationships will only continue to grow but so far it seems like the players have really taken the transition from Norvell to Taggart well. They have vastly different styles of leading and that can be a good thing.

Prediction for our march madness seed? – @jamesrocco5

Florida State is in line to finish with a top-4 seed if they can continue at this pace. Depending on how the rest of the regular season goes and if they can advance a few rounds into the ACC Tournament, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Seminoles with a No. 2 seed and maybe a top-seed. It’s crazy to say but that’s just how well this team is playing right now. They’ve certainly got to keep it up.

If the ‘Noles win at Duke, I’ll feel very comfortable saying they should be around a two seed.


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