Now in the third year of head coach Mike Norvell’s tenure, the Florida State Seminoles made a significant stride in development throughout the 2022 season, finishing with a 10-3 overall record, a Cheez-It Bowl victory, and a final season ranking within the top-15. Momentum continues to ride with the ‘Noles far beyond their six-game winning streak to close out their first 10-win season since 2016. That momentum has contributed to favorable outcomes in roster retention, on the recruiting trail, in the transfer portal, and it shows no signs of slowing heading into the 2023 campaign. If the trend continues, Florida State stands to make yet another jump this upcoming season, and national media outlets are beginning to put some stake in it.

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The Georgia Bulldogs brought the 2022 College Football season to a close on Monday night winning their second consecutive national championship with a resounding 65-7 victory over the TCU Horned Frogs. Immediately following the game, ESPN wasted no time looking ahead to the 2023 season and released its “2023 Way-Too-Early college football Top 25.” The usual suspects of Georgia, Ohio State, and Michigan filled three of the four playoff spots with the likes of Alabama, Penn State, USC, LSU, Oregon, and Tennessee rounding out the 5 through 10 slots. However, it was a new contender listed in the No. 4 position that surprised the masses. In the 2023 edition of ESPN’s “Way-Too-Early Top 25,” the Florida State Seminoles are ranked as the fourth and final playoff contender.

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ESPN Senior Writer Mark Schlabach believes Florida State’s 2022 successes to be an indication that “the Seminoles have finally turned the corner and might be a legitimate ACC title and CFP contender in 2023.” Florida State stands to return 7 starters on offense, 9 starters on defense, and 2 starters on special teams. Schlabach notes the departure of a few key contributors, specifically FS Jammie Robinson and two starting offensive linemen, but remains confident that the infusion of talent from multiple sources (recruiting trail and transfer portal) is enough to provide depth on the roster.

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Head coach Mike Norvell and his staff have worked furiously to load the roster with new and proven talent. Among the notable additions are: WR Hakeem Williams, TE Jaheim Bell, TE Kyle Morlock, OL Jeremiah Byers, OL Casey Roddick, DT Darrell Jackson, DT Braden Fiske, and CB Fentrell Cypress. The ‘Noles will also be returning Fabien Lovett and Jared Verse, who continues to project as a highly coveted draft pick, on the defensive line. And the list goes on. Of course, the elevated performance of Jordan Travis will be a huge factor for the ‘Noles going forward, and Schlabach adds more credence to a 2023 Heisman campaign stating, “Quarterback Jordan Travis might be a Heisman Trophy candidate next season, and most of his top running backs and receivers are expected to return.”