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Noles News: Florida State athletic director Michael Alford refutes report linking him to USC position

“I remain totally focused on the tremendous opportunities ahead of us here at FSU.”

Michael Alford walks on the field at Doak Campbell Stadium Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

Florida State athletic director Michael Alford dismissed rumors of his connection with the same position at the University of Southern California on Sunday, issuing a statement that strongly refuted reports linking him to the opening.

“I am not now, nor have I been, a candidate for the position at USC. Nor do I have any interest in any role other than my current position at Florida State.

“I remain totally focused on the tremendous opportunities ahead of us here at FSU, and I remain completely committed to seeing those to completion.”


2025 linebacker Elijah Melendex out of Kissimmee was offered by Florida State Seminoles football on Saturday. The 6-1, 223 pound prospect out of Osceola High is considered a four-star recruit and the No. 26 linebacker in the 2025 class — he also holds offers from the Colorado Buffaloes, Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Georgia Bulldogs, Michigan State Spartans, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Tennessee Volunteers, Florida Gators, Arkansas Razorbacks and Texas A&M Aggies, amongst others:

Florida State Seminoles football 2024 commitments

QUARTERBACK: 4 star Luke Kromenhoek (GA)

RUNNING BACK: 4 star Kam Davis (GA)

RUNNING BACK: 4 star Micahi Danzy (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Camdon Frier (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Lawayne McCoy (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star BJ Gibson (GA)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Elijah Moore (MD)

TIGHT END: 5 star Landen Thomas (GA)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Jonathan Daniels (FL)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 3 star Tye Hylton (FL)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Manasse Itete (CA)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 3 star Jayden Todd (GA)


DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 3 star Jamorie Flagg (FL)

LINEBACKER: 3 star Jayden Parrish (FL)

LINEBACKER: 3 star Timir Hickman-Collins (SC)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 5 star KJ Bolden (GA)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 5 star Charles Lester III (FL)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 4 star Ricky Knight III (FL)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 3 star CJ Heard (GA)

KICKER: 3 star Jake Weinberg (FL)


Florida State held its second scrimmage on Sunday — and with the season opener vs. the LSU Tigers approaching, head coach Mike Norvell and his staff are pushing their squad to reach the next level in their execution. They were complimentary of the team’s effort during media availability afterwards, with Norvell, offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Alex Atkins, defensive coordinator Adam Fuller and special teams coordinator/defensive ends coach John Papuchis all pinpointing depth as a strength of this year’s group.

ESPN broke down the college football teams with the most potential NFL talent, with Florida State coming in at No. 6 behind the Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions, Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide:

Top prospect to know: Jared Verse, EDGE

Sleeper prospect to watch: Trey Benson, RB

Game circled on the schedule: vs. LSU, Sept. 3

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Seminoles this season, and rightfully so. They haven’t had at least five players drafted in a single year since 2018, but that mark could be topped in 2024. Verse returned to school even though he might have been a top-10 pick last April. His game is similar to current Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence. Verse is a heavy-handed and urgent rusher who generated pressure on 17.1% of his defensive snaps during his first year in the FBS ranks after transferring from Albany.

“It’s rare to see a player transferring from the FCS to FBS and have instant success right away like him,” a NFC scout said. “His hands are like bricks, he can bend, and he plays hard. I’d be shocked if he’s not a top-10 pick when it’s all said and done.” Verse is the most complete player at the position in the 2024 class, and he’s a strong contender to be the first defender drafted.

There’s a ton of talent in Mike Norvell’s offense, too. At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, wide receiver Johnny Wilson is a hybrid perimeter threat who is used from all types of formational alignments. In his first season with the program after transferring from Arizona State, he averaged 20.8 yards per catch — the second highest total in the nation. South Carolina transfer Jaheim Bell is another prospect to watch; he’s a bit of a tweener tight end who primarily serves as a pass-catching threat but is seeking a bigger role. Bell is a potential breakout candidate to watch in what’s expected to be an explosive unit.

Quarterback Jordan Travis is likely a late-round prospect who must show more consistency within structure. Scouts have been impressed with his ability to win in unconventional ways, however. Benson is an energetic tackle-breaking machine (17.5% broken tackle rate, 11th-best among running backs). And taking full advantage of the transfer portal, wideout Keon Coleman (Michigan State), defensive tackle Braden Fiske (Western Michigan) and cornerback Fentrell Cypress II (Virginia) could all boost their stock at FSU.


No. 6 Florida State soccer, following up a season-opening win over Texas A&M, finished up its trip to the Lone Star State with a gritty 2-0 win over the No. 9 TCU Horned Frogs.

FSU battled it out, holding tight in a 0-0 stalemate that lasted until the 70th minute at which point Taylor Huff was able to break through.

Just minutes later, Florida State was able to make that lead a bit more comfortable off a Jody Brown to Onyi Echegini connection.

According to FSU Sports Info, the Seminoles now have won 17 straight non-conference games, a streak that dates back to Sept. 1, 2019. Florida State’s record against top 10 opponents is 12-3-5 since the 2020 season.

Before Sunday’s game, three Seminoles were named to the MAC Herman Watch List — Brown, Huff and Cristina Roque:

Huff began her season with a bang on Thursday night as she scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute to lead the Seminoles past Texas A&M. In her debut with the Garnet and Gold, Huff played all 90 minutes for FSU and led the team with four shots.

Roque had a solid start to her season as the reigning ACC Goalkeeper of the Year picked up the win on Thursday night after playing in the goal for all 90 minutes. Roque faced four shots and recorded 3 saves to hold the Aggies to just one goal.

After spending her summer with the Jamaican National Team at the 2023 FIFA World Cup, Brown hopes to build off her breakout season in 2022. Brown had a career-high eight goals and 10 assists for the Seminoles in 2022 earning her Third Team All-America status.

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