In 2022, Florida State made its first steps towards re-establishing its place as a contender for championships (conference or otherwise), with head coach Mike Norvell finally getting the chance to begin to execute his vision for the program after a rocky start to his tenure.
No. 13 FSU’s 9-3 (5-3 ACC) record included wins against No. 17 LSU and two in-state rivals in Florida and Miami, winning the program’s first state championship since 2016 and showcasing a solidified team identity for the first time since the departure of Jimbo Fisher. While there are still a few more boxes to check off before Florida State can be officially declared back in consistent national title contention, the Noles seem to be headed in the right direction after some of the toughest times in program history.
Following the season, Tomahawk Nation reached out to recent-era former Seminoles to chime in and give their thoughts on Florida State’s 2022 success. A list including first-round picks, national champions and players who were in Tallahassee for the post-Fisher stretch spoke on where they think the Noles are headed.
James Wilder Jr. (2011-2013)
“A year of being unconquered like 13.”
AJ Westbrook (2015-2018)
“The progression has grown tremendously from the players to the coaches. You can see how well the players play together no matter if they are a starter or not. everyone is on one accord. The coaching from Coach Norvell - he has that passion & love for his players which is great to see!”
“The Noles in the near future though will be dominant! Go Noles!”
Javien Elliot (2014-2015)
“I believe what Florida State is doing is bigger than just winning games. I think they are building a fun, positive, and disciplined culture in the locker room, which is going to be necessary because of the competition in college football as well as the transfer portal having new faces in the building.”
“You can’t win off of talent alone. If a solid foundation has been set, everyone coming in will know that there is a high standard to play up to. and if they play to that standard they will be able to exceed expectations and be able to compete and win games.”
Jermaine Johnson (2021)
“The standard now is to compete for and win the ACC every year, ultimately putting us in position to compete for and win national championships. I believe FSU is capable of reaching these goals moving forward. I’m just happy I was blessed with the opportunity to give that place everything I had.”
Bobo Wilson (2013-2016)
“I feel like we’re back. We had a good season 2 out of the 3 losses were supposed to be wins. Jordan Travis is a great QB, should be in the Heisman talks for sure.”
“Overall I just feel like it’s FSU football again. The guys want it more, we got that hunger and will [get] back that we had lost. We finish off with a win against Oklahoma, I definitely think we have a chance next year in the College Football Playoffs.”
Jashaun Corbin (2020-2021)
“I knew it was only a matter of time before we got back on track. I think we have turned the corner. We are getting back to where Florida State football has always been which is one of the best teams in the country.
“Future is bright.”
Ricky Aguayo (2016-2019)
“When I go back it’s amazing to see the camaraderie and just how happy the guys are. It seems like it’s a great environment to grow and a wonderful culture to be a part of. I really believe the sky is the limit for the program with the leadership of Coach Norvell and his staff.”
DeCalon Brooks (2017-2021)
“Thinking back from the 2021 season, it was a lot of groundwork that had to be done and the foundation was built with the guys that were a part of that team. In 2022, they put it all together and battled through adversity, and had a huge amount of success this season.”
“The future is promising for the 2023 season. I believe we are headed in the right direction and with the work Coach Norvell, his staff, and players are going to put in, in the offseason I know they are going to continue to prove a lot of people wrong.”
George Campbell (2015-2018)
“I love the direction they are headed, they have a great team & I think they have big things in store.”
Reggie Northrup II (2012-2015)
“I feel like Florida State was doing great this year, a lot of improvement. It’s very refreshing to see them boys go out there an do what they did this season, at a high level, at a Florida State standard... I actually felt like I watched some real Florida State football this season... Despite the couple losses that they lost, that we all feel like they should have won easily. Despite of that man, they had a great season, they finished off strong, and I hope to see them finish off stronger.”
“The future brings a lot of hope for us as alumni, fans... seeing these boys snap back like that and really play some real Florida State football that we all used to seeing. Next season, I feel like it’s up, it’s going to be real good.”
“The crazy thing about it is, these boys ranked 13 right now man, and in today’s times we got the 12-team College Football Playoff... all you got to do is be Top 12 teams. Florida State easily going to be in that playoff, I feel confident right now calling that. Seeing some of the older players announcing that they coming back is real good for the team... I feel like when I was there we had so many guys leave the year we won the championship, we could’ve went back-to-back.”
Some quotes have been edited for clarity and consistency