Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell made it known from his opening presser that his focus and priority was on the players at Tallahassee. When speaking to the media, he stated: “...I’m sorry I did not rush to see you [media and FSU board members at the presser]. I went to go see them.”
After a few rough moments during the off season, the buy in from the team members is beginning to grow. Last night, several players and coaches took to social media to express their gratefulness for Florida State and Norvell after the squad went on a team-bonding retreat.
Norvell says its a tradition that harkens back to his days at Arizona State, and it’s something they had planned even before the pandemic. The idea behind it, he says, is to let players know the person they’re playing next to.
“When you’re side by side in a tough moment, when you know that relationship is strong, I think you’re going to give more,” he said Thursday.
“The B in our CLIMB is Brotherhood. And that’s what makes football great.”
“There was some real emotion last night. I’m grateful to be working with this team.”
Redshirt senior defensive end Janarius Robinson, who also offered his thoughts on the night on Twitter on Wednesday, expanded on it during media availability.
“It’s very comforting,” he said. “Knowing that someone looks at you more than just on the field. They can know how you react and why and know how to communicate with you.”
“This is my fifth year here and I don’t think this is anything we’ve ever done.”
“I feel like our time got a lot out of it last night. Learning each individual’s story, that was one of the most phenomenal thing I took out of last night. Ultimately, that’s going to make us grow as a team.”
Offensive lineman Brady Scott also expanded on the retreat during Thursday’s availability, saying, “It was actually my favorite thing that I’ve been apart of at Florida State.”
“It really helps with how you respond to people. Once you get to know people, when they respond in a certain situation, you know why they are responding like that.”
The tweets started with posts from redshirt freshman Curtis Fann Jr., who was was soon responded to by Marvin Wilson, Janarius Robinson, Fabien Lovett and also echoed by Josh Griffis, Jayion McCluster, DJ Lundy and coaches John Papuchis and Chris Marve.
I’m so glad I came to FLORIDA STATE man .. it’s so much bigger than football , best decision I’ve ever made in my life ❤️— O C H O ² (@curt_8_) August 20, 2020
I’m so appreciative for @Coach_Norvell and staff for caring about our lives and so much more outside of football. What I experienced TN being around my teammates and segment group really took some weight off my shoulders never know what a person is going through ..BROTHERHOOD— J Rob (@JanariusD1) August 20, 2020
No cap.. it’s more than football here https://t.co/p0ghNXuXfk— Dj Lundy (@djlundy01) August 20, 2020
Best decision i’ve made, BROTHERS ✊— Jayion McCluster ³ (@JayHitEmUp____) August 20, 2020
Greatest decision I’ve ever made pic.twitter.com/xWVWd5V25r— B I G C O U N T R Y (@joshgriffis_) August 20, 2020
Thankful.— Chris Marve (@Coach_Marve) August 20, 2020
It’s a theme that’s emerged within the team throughout camp, an emphasis on being better together and uplifting that’s been spoken about by players and coaches alike. Players like James Blackman and Asante Samuel Jr. have been lauded for their willingness to speak with and teach younger players, while Marvin Wilson, Jaiden Lars-Woodbey and Camren McDonald have been singled out as those who have encouraged others to use their platforms.
After a few years of turmoil and frustration, after a week of uncertainty within the team, and an overall difficult transition period that has seen players work through a pandemic and social unrest, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see players and coaches achieve the sort of off-the-field community and bonding that you’d hope from a team.