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Florida State football: Offensive line coach Alex Atkins earns contract extension, raise

FSU locks up a standout position coach

Through documents provided through the university, Tomahawk Nation can confirm that Florida State Seminoles football offensive line coach Alex Atkins has signed a multi-year contract extension through Dec. 31, 2023.

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, Atkins’ compensation is set to steadily increase until the contract expires, layering yearly bonuses of $300,000, $375,000, $425,000, and $425,000 onto what is assumed to be his original base pay of $500,000.

If that assumption is correct, Atkins is currently among the four highest-paid offensive line coaches in the country, eventually placing him just shy of $1 million a year in the last two years of his contract.

Further, if Atkins leaves before Dec. 31, 2022 he would owe FSU the entirety of his buyout. This locks up an outstanding coach and rising star for a few seasons and will hopefully settle fears that another program might swoop in and steal Atkins away, who is considered a rising star in the industry.

There are a few stipulations. If he breaches it after Jan. 1, 2023, he only owes 25 percent of his remaining contract, within 30 days of termination. If Atkins leaves for a head coaching or offensive coordinator gig in the college ranks (or any coaching position with an NFL team) at any point, then he owes nothing. It’s language that reflects how important Atkins has been in Tallahassee and how fast his stock is rising.

Atkins has been key in head coach Mike Norvell’s efforts to re-establish a floor to the program after poor recruiting, development, and attrition decimated the offensive line unit near the end of Jimbo Fisher’s tenure in Tallahassee.

FSU’s OL play was to some extent covered up in recent seasons with the indomitable Dalvin Cook and uber-talented Cam Akers, though not even Akers could overcome the offensive line play issues in the 2018 season especially. With continued development under Atkins, the unit has improved significantly, though much more work remains to be done.

Over the last few months, Atkins has proved just how valuable he is, not only on the field as a coach but also as a recruiter. At the time of this writing, FSU currently has six offensive line prospects committed to its 2022 class, four of which are blue chips.

That's more blue-chip players on the offensive line than the last four classes combined.