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Noles News: FSU ranked No. 10 in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings

Just how well has Mike Norvell set up Florida State for the future?

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation


Florida State offered 2025 four-star prospect Tony Williams on Wednesday. Williams, listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, is considered the No. 9 safety in the 2025 class by the 247Sports Composite Rankings but is a two-way player who also takes reps at wide receiver. The West Palm Beach prospect has also reported offers from the USC Trojans, UCF Knights, Penn State Nittany Lions, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, Arkansas Razorbacks and Pittsburgh Panthers, amongst others:

2024 athlete Gregory Smith III out of Riverview was also offered by the Seminoles on Wednesday. Currently unranked, the 6-foot-4, 195 pound prospect also has reported offers from the Ole Miss Rebels, USF Bulls and Army, amongst others.

Class of 2026 offensive tackle Canon Pickett, who plays for Wharton High in Tampa, also earned a Florida State offer on Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 280 pound player has also reported offers from UCF, USF, Penn State and Charlotte.


Our Florida State Mount Rushmore series continued this week with running backs, with the results of our survey of Tomahawk Nation members narrowing down a final four of Warrick Dunn, Dalvin Cook, Greg Allen and Amp Lee.

Just how well has Mike Norvell set up Florida State for the future? ESPN ranked programs based on their outlooks for the next three seasons, with the Seminoles earning a No. 10 rank:

FPR doesn’t get too wrapped up in current rosters, especially if significant turnover is on the horizon. Track records matter, as certain programs and coaches have earned the benefit of the doubt. So does recruiting and the transfer portal, an increasingly significant factor in shaping personnel projections.

At its core, FPR is a personnel-based forecast, and it assesses how current and future players will impact performance for their teams. Recent recruiting or projected success in 2023 carries weight. But some programs consistently outperform their recruiting rankings and deserve to be recognized appropriately in the team list.

No. 10

2023 Future QB ranking: 9

2023 Future defense ranking: Not ranked

2023 Future offense ranking: 10

2022 Future team ranking: Not ranked

Scouting the Seminoles: Florida State is undoubtedly on the rise following its first 10-win season since 2016. The Seminoles return star power on both sides of the ball for 2023, continue to thrive in the portal and have upgraded their recruiting. But how high should FSU rise after not winning the ACC since 2014, also its lone CFP appearance? The team must capitalize right away, given Clemson’s vulnerability and the return of several stars, including quarterback Jordan Travis, defensive end Jared Verse and wide receiver Johnny Wilson.

FSU’s defense came close to cracking the FPR top 25. Verse and fellow veteran Fabien Lovett both bypassed the NFL for another year in Tallahassee, and lead a line that added Western Michigan’s Braden Fiske and Miami’s Darrell Jackson Jr. to a stacked interior. FSU picked up one of the portal’s top defenders in Virginia cornerback Fentrell Cypress II, a second-team All-ACC selection with two years of eligibility left, who joins veterans Renardo Green and Greedy Vance. Linebacker has experience with Tatum Bethune and Kalen DeLoach, and younger players like Omar Graham Jr. will help beyond 2023. FSU signed three ESPN 300 defenders this year and ultimately must get less portal-reliant on defense.

Travis leads an offense that is finally achieving coach Mike Norvell’s vision of big plays and production. FSU has depth behind him in veteran backup Tate Rodemaker, a junior, and A.J. Duffy, ESPN’s No. 3 pocket passer and No. 60 overall recruit for 2022. Running back Trey Benson comes off of a very solid season (990 rush yards, 9 touchdowns) and could play through 2024, although Lawrance Toafili and Rodney Hill are capable reserves and the team is set to add Kameron Davis, an ESPN top-50 recruit, in 2024. FSU added key transfers at wide receiver (Michigan State’s Keon Coleman), tight end (South Carolina’s Jaheim Bell) and along the offensive line (Auburn’s Keiondre Jones, UTEP’s Jeremiah Byers, Colorado’s Casey Roddick). The line is finally stable under coach Alex Atkins and returns All-ACC tackle Robert Scott Jr. and junior center Maurice Smith. Wilson and Coleman form an excellent receiver tandem, and Bell (56 catches at South Carolina) should help at tight end. FSU added Hykeem Williams, an ESPN top-30 recruit, at wide receiver, and has a 2024 commitment from tight end Landen Thomas (ESPN No. 48 overall).

The full top 25:

1. Georgia Bulldogs

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

4. Michigan Wolverines

5. LSU Tigers

6. USC Trojans

7. Clemson Tigers

8. Penn State Nittany Lions

9. Tennessee Volunteers

10. Florida State Seminoles

11. Oregon Ducks

12. Oklahoma Sooners

13. Utah Utes

14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

15. Texas Longhorns

16. Washington Huskies

17. TCU Horned Frogs

18. Kansas State Wildcats

19. Wisconsin Badgers

20. Iowa Hawkeyes

21. Oregon State Beavers

22. South Carolina Gamecocks

23. UCLA Bruins

24. Pittsburgh Panthers

25. Ole Miss Rebels

I know that standard wisdom is usually, “don’t showcase the competition’s work,” but between the content present in the video and the nature of the gentlemen present within it, it feels pretty silly to not make sure that the Florida State masses get to witness over an hour of their head coach breaking down film in a casual setting. The Triple Option boys will always have a special place in our hearts, and so them getting such a cool opportunity and making the most of it is a net benefit for all of us who want to be able to create those platforms for actual, meaningful and insightful conversations with those within the program:



You can keep up with all the latest off-season movements and shakings in our Florida State baseball off-season news thread.

All Sports

FSU has announced a new partnership with SIDEARM Sports to develop a new online platform:

SIDEARM Sports will collaborate closely with Florida State to create a leading-edge site with enhanced functionality for Seminole fans around the globe. The upgraded will provide a data-rich and engaging experience for FSU fans around the world. With a focus on advanced video capabilities and real-time data integrations, the new website will unlock an unparalleled digital experience for fans that connects them like never before.

The revamped site will provide Florida State fans with a fresh and modern digital experience. For fans at home, in-stadium or on-the-go, the redesigned will feature an updated, mobile-responsive design with improved navigation and deeper engagement opportunities with the Noles.

“We are pleased to be partnering with SIDEARM Sports and eager to launch a new version of very soon,” FSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford said. “We are confident that SIDEARM’s expertise will help us tell our great stories and share information with our constantly expanding audience using state-of-the-art technology.” will launch on SIDEARM NextGen, the latest version of SIDEARM’s nationally recognized software. NextGen is the future of digital fan engagement, enabling the fastest and most secure websites in the industry. NextGen sites provide fans with faster load times, top-of-the-line security capabilities and interactive elements not available elsewhere.

“We are excited to partner with Florida State University Athletics on the new to deliver an advanced digital experience for their loyal and passionate fanbase,” said Jeff Rubin, President of SIDEARM Sports and EVP, Digital for LEARFIELD, which has a longstanding relationship with Florida State. “It’s an honor to bring the Seminoles to the SIDEARM platform and support their digital strategy, empowering them to engage with fans in innovative ways.”

Florida State women’s soccer senior defender Heather Payne was named Ireland’s Young Women’s International Player of the Year at the 33rd FAI International Awards:

A native of Ballinasloe, Payne helped the Republic of Ireland senior women’s team qualify for the upcoming FIFA World Cup for the first time.

Payne earned third team All-ACC honors as a defender for the Seminoles as a senior last season. She played in 18 games for FSU’s 2022 College Cup team and started 16 at right-back. She totaled four goals and four assists on the season and helped lead a defense that recorded 11 shutouts in 23 games.

Payne was a junior on FSU’s NCAA National Championship team in 2021. She played 110 minutes in the championship match and converted her penalty kick in the shootout victory. In addition, she earned ACC All-Freshman honors in 2019.

As a youngster, Payne represented Ballinasloe Town and the ADSL, before going on to play for Salthill Devon and Peamount United.

She is the daughter of Gráinne and Brendan Payne.

Florida State women’s tennis had nine student-athletes earn All-ACC Academic honors (Vic Allen, Alice Amendola, Anna Arkadianou, Millie Bissett, Olympe Lancelot, Kristyna Lavickova, Kianah Motosono, Ellie Schoppe, and Mila Saric) while FSU men’s tennis placed four (Alex Bulte, Jamie Connel, Loris Pourroy, and Barnaby Smith.

Ashley Arcidiacono and James Law, two recent doctoral graduates from FSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, part of the College of Arts and Sciences, have received Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowships to continue their respective research:

The Beckman Fellowship program — named for Arnold O. Beckman, a revolutionary of the invention and development of chemical instrumentation and founder of Beckman Instruments — provides salary and research support to postdoctoral researchers pursuing groundbreaking areas of study in chemical instrumentation and chemical sciences.

Sixteen fellows were selected from hundreds of applicants, with each fellow receiving $224,000 over two years for salary, benefits and research expenditures.

Arcidiacono, who graduated with her doctorate in spring 2023, is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago, where she is using spectroscopic instrumentation to monitor color changes or light emitted from a sample under the mentorship of chemistry professor Sarah King. The goal of the work is to understand and control processes that occur after a material absorbs light, and the resulting insights can be applied to improving the performance of solar energy conversion devices, biosensors and even quantum computing.

Law, who earned his doctorate in 2022, worked in the Frederich Lab, led by Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry James Frederich, studying synthetic chemistry at the intersection of biology, chemistry and medicine.

Law currently works as a postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his work involves developing new catalytic methods to selectively build chiral molecules, sometimes called right- or left-handed molecules, using asymmetric catalysis. The goal is to prepare a specific molecular handedness that is difficult or impossible to create using current techniques.

These new reactions can be used to generate specific molecules for use in pharmaceuticals, fragrances, food additives and more.