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’Nole defender Stanford Samuels III leaving FSU early for 2020 NFL Draft— did his replacement just sign with Florida State?

More roster turnover in Tallahassee.

NCAA Football: Miami at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Mike Norvell era of Florida State football is still taking shape in Tallahassee, and while coaching decisions continue to be made, another puzzle piece has fallen into place — or rather, been removed — regarding player personnel. Three-year contributor Stanford Samuels III, a starting defensive back for the Seminoles, took to Instagram recently and declared his intention to forego his senior season with FSU and turn pro.

Samuels (6’2, 185), who followed his father in patrolling the ’Nole secondary, made his way to Florida State in 2017 from Hollywood, FL as a sought-after four-star corner, a top-five recruit at his position, nationally. He contributed immediately and consistently, playing in 37 games over three years. From 2017-2019, Samuels collected eight interceptions and 16 pass breakups, while amassing 145 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss.

With fellow-legacy Asante Samuel, Jr. returning and likely to resume his status as a starter at one of the CB spots, this could be a window for the recently signed Demorie Tate to see the field immediately, although we already figured him to contribute. Of course, Seminole DBs already on the roster will have something to say about that— but competition is never a bad thing.

Tate (6’1, 189) is presently the highest ranked player in FSU’s 2020 recruiting class. Like SSIII, he’s also a top-five corner prospect, but unlike Samuels, he does not currently plan on enrolling early.

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