On Saturday, April 15, Florida State Seminoles football will take to Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium for its 2023 Spring Showcase.
Under head coach Mike Norvell, the event has taken on a bit of a different look than a “typical” spring game. Rather than having two separate “teams” face off in a four-quarter matchup, Norvell has in years past opted to retain a typical scrimmage format, pitting offense vs. defense in a variety of situational challenges and intensity-focused drills.
As the Seminoles have done in the two previous iterations of the Spring Showcase, they’ll welcome guest coaches to face off against each other and wrap up the day in what has been dubbed the “Grand Finale.”
This year, a quartet of national championship-winning Florida State football alum will get the chance to throw on a whistle and hold the clipboard — on one side, Heisman Trophy winning-quarterback Charlie Ward and linebacker Henri Crockett from the 1993 championship squad and on the other, running back Karlos Williams and defensive back PJ Williams from the 2013 team.
“#NoleFamily can’t wait to see you back in Doak Campbell Stadium!!” Norvell tweeted. “Going to be a lot of fun as we get a glimpse of the 2023 Florida State Football Team. Excited for the #GrandFinale with a few All-Time greats representing the 93 and 13 National Championship teams.”
The bios of the four guest coaches:
The most decorated player in the history of college football, Charlie Ward won literally every award he was eligible for as a senior quarterback on Florida State’s 1993 National Championship team. In addition, Ward was the sparkplug on three Seminole NCAA Tournament basketball teams.
A native of nearby Thomasville, Ga., Ward became Florida State’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 1993 after completing 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,032 yards with 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also won the Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards and was named Walter Camp Player of the Year and Toyota Leader of the Year. He is only the second college football player ever to win the Sullivan Award given annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete. Ward still owned 14 FSU football records at the time of his induction.
On the basketball court, Ward pushed the Seminoles to the brink of the 1993 Final Four, falling one game shy. He also started on FSU’s Sweet 16 team in 1992 and hit the game-winning shot in its Metro Conference Tournament Championship game win over Louisville in 1991. Ward still holds Seminole basketball records for steals in a game (9) and career (236) and ranks sixth all-time in assists (396).
At the time of his induction, Ward had just finished his fifth season in the NBA as the starting point guard for the New York Knicks. He helped his team to the NBA finals in 1999. Ward remains an active member of his home community in Thomasville, running various youth clinics and sports camps during the summer.
A native of Pompano Beach, Florida, Crockett earned an athletic scholarship to Florida State University where he joined his older brother Zack as a member of the Seminoles, (the 1993 National Champions and the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship team from 1993 to 1997). In 1997, Crockett was selected in the 4th round of the National Football League (NFL) draft. He played for seven years, five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He was a starting player with the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999.
via Crockett Foundation
One of the most versatile players in FSU history…began his career as a safety and earned his first career start at linebacker in the 2012 ACC Championship Game…switched to running back during second week of 2013 season and finished ninth in FSU history with 22 rushing touchdowns, while rushing for 1,419 yards on just 241 carries (5.9 ypc).
Started 10 games and appeared in 12 overall…his 12 touchdowns led the team and tied for fourth in the ACC (6.0 points per game)…second on FSU with 689 yards rushing on 150 carries (4.6 ypc)…had 11 rushing touchdowns and one receiving score…fifth on the Noles with 29 receptions for 265 yards…led FSU with 139 all-purpose yards against Oregon in the Rose Bowl, rushing for 80 yards and a score on 12 carries and catching five passes for 59 yards…had a career-high 126 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 21 carries in a come-from-behind victory at NC State…touchdown scores were for 4-yards, 1-yard and 12-yards…rushed for the game-winning 12-yard score in overtime against Clemson…had 25 yards on two carries versus the Tigers in overtime and 45 yards on 10 totes overall…ran nine times for 41 yards and a touchdown versus Boston College…rushed 21 times for 70 yards and two touchdowns versus Virginia…had 72 yards on 16 carries at Louisville…scored a pair of touchdowns against Notre Dame, including the go-ahead 1-yard score in the fourth quarter…had 66 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against The Citadel…opened the season by rushing a career-high 23 times for 66 yards against Oklahoma State in the Cowboys Classic.
One of the most athletic and versatile players on the team…two-year letterwinner at safety moved to running back prior to second game of the season against Nevada… also started on special teams…first offensive touch of his career was a 65-yard touchdown run against the Wolf Pack…ranked second on the Noles with 730 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns…his 8.0 yards per carry average ranked sixth in the nation and second in the ACC…his 11 rushing scores tied for 10th-most in a single season in FSU history and tied for the seventh-most in the ACC on the season…had two 100-yard games, including 110 yards on eight carries in his debut against Nevada…carried 10 times for career-high 114 yards and two touchdowns against Idaho…rushed nine times for 83 yards and two touchdowns against Bethune-Cookman….rushed for 29 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland…rushed 13 times for 86 yards and a touchdown at NC State… carried four times for 78 yards against Syracuse…rushed seven times for 55 yards and a touchdown against Duke in the ACC Championship Game…had five totes for 25 yards in the BCS National Championship Game versus Auburn, including a key seven-yard fake punt conversion on fourth-and-4 late in the second quarter.
Back-up defensive back and kick returner who saw action in all 14 games and made his first career start in the ACC Championship Game versus Georgia Tech…set career highs in every defensive category as a true sophomore in 2012 including tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions…made a huge statement on the biggest stage of his career in the ACC Championship Game, recording a career high 11 tackles and the game-clinching interception in the waning moments…he returned the interception for 41 yards just missing out on a TD and in the process recording the longest interception return of the season for FSU…recorded pass break-ups versus Murray State and Duke…had a tackle for loss in a key ACC road win at Miami…split kick return duties with Lamarcus Joyner…had a career long return of 60 yards in a road win over USF…had the highest kick return average (26.2) on the team.
True freshman who played in all 12 regular season games before breaking his wrist in the regular season finale at Florida causing him to miss the Champs Sports Bowl…totaled eight tackles (four solo, four assisted) on the season but really made an impact on special teams…ranked second in kickoff returns (8) and kickoff return yards (186) while averaging 23.2 yards per return…returned two kicks for 67 yards with a career-long return of 33 yards against Maryland…tallied a career-high three tackles in the win at Boston College…added a pair of tackles at Wake Forest…received one of two special teams newcomer awards at the team’s annual banquet.
ALL-ACC First Team (Media, coaches)
USA Today All-America Second Team
Sports Illustrated All-America Honorable Mention
BCS Championship Defensive MVP
All-ACC Honorable Mention
College Football News Sophomore All-America Second Team
Two-time All-ACC selection, two-year starter and the Defensive MVP of the 2013 BCS Championship compiled 123 tackles along with 18 pass break-ups over 40 career games (24 starts).
Widely regarded as one of the top cover corners in the country during the 2014 season…semifinalist for the Thorpe Award and a First Team All-ACC selection…started all 13 games he played in…missed The Citadel game with a minor injury…of his 74 tackles, 52 were of the solo variety…6.5 tackles for loss are testament to his run support work…ranked second on the team with 10 pass break-ups…playmaker with a knack for making the big play on the biggest stages…had a game-high and career-high 14 tackles, including a half-tackle for loss, against Oregon in the Rose Bowl…that performance came after he posted career-highs with nine tackles and two tackles for loss against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game…also logged seven solo tackles at Louisville…forced and recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter of the season-opener vs. Oklahoma State…was named Defensive MVP of the 2013 BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl…member of the Bednarik and Nagurski Award Watch Lists.
Starting cornerback blossomed into one of ACC’s best defensive backs in his second season…captured Defensive MVP honors in BCS National Championship Game versus Auburn after making a career-high seven tackles, including a half-tackle for loss and interception on consecutive plays at the start of the fourth quarter when the Seminoles trailed 21-13…his pick of Tigers’ quarterback Nick Marshall provided a spark and led to an FSU touchdown…missed first game of the season, but played in 13 contests, while starting final 11…led Florida State with seven pass break-ups and total passes defended (10) – a mark that placed him 14th in the conference…ranked 10th on Noles with 35 tackles and tied for second with three interceptions…set a then-career high with five tackles – all solo – at Florida…recorded his first career interception and tied a career high with four tackles at Boston College…had a pass breakup and a tackle against Bethune-Cookman…posted three tackles at Clemson…made two tackles, intercepted a pass and broke up another against Miami…had two tackles, 1.0 TFL and a pass break-up against Idaho…key member of nation’s No. 1-ranked pass defense (156.6 ypg) and third-ranked total defense (281.4 ypg)…FSU also led the nation in interceptions (26) and scoring defense (12.1 ppg).
Freshman defensive back played in 14 games for the Seminoles…posted 14 tackles on the season…had a career day against Boston College with four solo tackles…he also recorded a 10-yard tackle for loss in the fourth quarter against the Eagles…secured the first pass breakup of his career against Murray State…also a key contributor on kickoff and punt return coverage teams.
In its third year under head coach Mike Norvell, Florida State football put together its best season since 2016, finishing No. 11 in the country after a 10-win season and state title, with a bowl victory over the Oklahoma Sooners serving as a cherry on top.
That success, combined with the return of major names like quarterback Jordan Travis (who already is receiving Heisman hype for next season), running back Trey Benson, defensive end Jared Verse and defensive tackle Fabien Lovett has expectations high for 2023.
Tickets for the 2023 Spring Showcase are listed at $10 and are available for purchase online.
Some notes, via FSU:
- Everyone in attendance will be entered to win a practice-worn jersey from this year’s squad at the conclusion of the Spring Showcase. Winners will be notified during the event via email and the jerseys must be picked up by the end of the day in the Seminole Sportshop in the south endzone.
- Fans will be allowed on the field postgame.
The schedule for the weekend, via FSU
FRIDAY, APRIL 14
- 10 AM: RV Lots Open
SATURDAY, APRIL 15
- 10 AM: Parking Lots Open
- 2 PM: Box Office at Dick Howser Stadium Opens (Will Call Location)
- 3 PM: Doak Campbell Stadium Gates Open
- 4 PM: Garnet and Gold Spring Showcase Begins