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Noles News: FSU puts ACC on notice while Pac-12’s existence teeters

Plus, FSU football starts practice today

Louisiana v Florida State Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images


FSU offered 2026 prospect Corbyn Fordham on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 205 pound tight end plays for The Bolles School in Jacksonville and also holds offers from the Georgia Bulldogs, NC State Wolfpack, Pittsburgh Panthers, South Carolina Gamecocks and Louisville Cardinals, amongst others:

Florida State currently has the No. 6 class in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, with a 90.97 average, while On3 has FSU as the No. 5 class with a 91.52 average.

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

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 Charles Lester III (FL)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 4 star Ricky Knight III

DEFENSIVE BACK: 3 star CJ Heard (GA)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 3 star Rydarrius “Red” Morgan (AL)

KICKER: 3 star Jake Weinberg (FL)


Ready for some Florida State football? The Seminoles take to the practice field for the first time this fall today, with head coach Mike Norvell emphasizing the need for continued progress as his squad preps for what’s shaping up to be a major 2023 season:

“I think we have a football team that’s very confident right now, and they should be confident because of the work they’ve put in. I believe in that. I believe in who they are, and I mean, there are no limits to what I think this team can accomplish.

But with experience, there’s that inner pressure or that expectation that, well, how are you going to respond when maybe you have a bad play? How are you going to respond when a negative situation shows up?”

“We have one shot, one time, one season to be able to leave our mark. There’s a sense of urgency for what we need to do - tomorrow, it’s all hands on deck.”

“We have to improve. That is the objective. That is the expectation.”

“Our team embraces that.”

Four Florida State Seminoles players were named to the preseason All-ACC team on Wednesday, with running back Trey Benson, defensive back Fentrell Cypress II, defensive lineman Jared Verse and wide receiver Johnny Wilson all earning spots on the squad — Verse, Benson and Wilson earned the second-, fourth- and sixth-highest vote totals, respectively.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, who was not selected to the team, earned the second-most votes for preseason MVP — 66, behind North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (88).

FSU’s four selections are the second-highest of all ACC teams, with Clemson placing seven on the list. On Tuesday, the conference’s preseason poll was released with Florida State was picked to finish second in the conference, 36 votes behind the Tigers.

FSU punter Alex Mastromanno has been named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List:

Mastromanno enters his fourth season as FSU’s primary punter in 2023. For his career, he is averaging 42.7 yards per punt that includes 17 punts of at least 50 yards. He has dropped 39 punts inside the 20-yard line compared to only four touchbacks, including a streak of 100 consecutive punts without a touchback that began in the 2020 season and extended into 2022. Last season, five of his 34 punts were at least 50 yards and he landed 14 punts inside the 20-yard line, including a stretch of six consecutive punts inside the 20-yard line between the wins at Miami and Syracuse that resulted in an average opponent starting field position of the 7-yard line. The Melbourne, Australia, native has forced 58 fair catches in his career to help FSU earn a net punting average of 40.2 yards per punt in his 33 games played.

To which roles does FSU have a claim of being Position U for? ESPN’s David Hale took a look at how each program across the country matches up, using awarding points for college production (by way of all-conference and All-America honors), NFL draft selections and NFL production (though the players’ first five years).

Of all the positions, according to the formula, FSU claims top billing in just one: kickers.

Other position placements:

  • Quarterback (No. 7)
  • Defensive Line (No. 2)
  • Defensive Back (No. 6)
  • Wide Receivers (No. 7)

Our 2023 FSU schedule preview continued yesterday with a look at Florida State’s home matchup vs. the Virginia Tech Hokies — a team with a lot of questions coming off their worst season in three decades:

Where does the offense come from? Virginia Tech had one of the 15 worst offenses in all of college football last season, averaging fewer than 20 points per game. The biggest piece of the puzzle yet to fall into place to determine that answer is still undecided as the Hokies quarterback battle has extended into fall camp. The leading candidates are Grant Wells, who started every game at QB for VT last season while also leading the team in rushing attempts, and Baylor transfer Kyron Drones. Wells is the more experienced of the two as Drones has only played in 7 games over his two years in Waco. VT head coach Brent Pry told reporters at ACC Kickoff that he’s not worried about choosing a starter and alluded to the potential of playing both. Can’t blame him to keep his options open to liven up this offensive attack.

Can the secondary carry the defense? A year ago, this unit was middle of the pack in both scoring and total defense. Nothing special but a solid group that can win games paired with an average offense. But they aren’t without their questions as well heading into 2023. At ACC Kickoff, coach Pry said he loves the speed on that side of the ball especially in the secondary. It’s not hard to see why with the talent he returns at safety and corner plus the addition of Georgia Southern DB Derrick Canteen. The front seven though? Not quite at that level. They were tied for 96th in sacks last season and don’t return one player with more than 2 sacks on the season. That pass rush needs someone to step up to compete in the ACC.

The latest entry into our position-by-position Florida State Mount Rushmore was entered into history yesterday, with the Tomahawk Nation community carving out four names for the top all-time defensive tackles — Ron Simmons, Darnell Dockett, Corey Simon and Timmy Jernigan.

Previous results

Quarterbacks: Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke, Jameis Winston, Jordan Travis

Running Backs: Warrick Dunn, Dalvin Cook, Greg Allen, Amp Lee

Wide Receivers: Peter Warrick, Fred Biletnikoff, Rashad Greene, Ron Sellers

Tight Ends: Nick O’Leary, Pat Carter, Lonnie Johnson, Melvin Pearsall

Offensive Tackles: Walter Jones, Alex Barron, Pat Tomberlin, Cam Erving

Interior Offensive Linemen: Rodney Hudson, Jamie Dukes, Bryan Stork, Clay Shiver

Defensive Ends: Peter Boulware, Andre Wadsworth, Reinard Wilson, Derrick Alexander

Things just amped up a notch in the realignment world, with Florida State taking its first major public stance in voicing its frustrations with the ACC’s financial failings.

During a board of trustees meeting on Wednedsay, Florida State University President Richard McCollugh said that, barring drastic changes to the way the conference distributes revenue the school will “have to at some point consider leaving the ACC:”

“We are one of the best media-valued teams in the United States. We, along with Clemson and others carry the value of the ACC — no offense to my colleagues, that’s just the number.”

“FSU helps to drive value and will drive value for any partner, but we have spent a year trying to understand how we might fix the issue. There are no easy fixes to this challenge, but a group of us have spent literally a year. We’ve explored every possible option that you can imagine. The issue at hand is what can we do to allow ourselves to be competitive in football and get what I think is the revenue we deserve?”

The word consider wasn’t in the vocabulary of some trustees, with former FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford and first-year member Justin Roth taking much firmer stances.

“Do we want to play games moving forward, or do we want to compete? I’ve thought about this a lot as an ex-player, as now board of trustee member,” Weatherford said, “and the simple fact is the cost of playing at the highest level is outpacing the ACC’s ability to compete on a regular basis.”

“For me, it’s not if we leave [the ACC], it’s how and when.”

“Staying in this conference for the next 13 years and trying to wait for that perfect alignment of the stars is the equivalent of a death by 1,000 cuts and each cut is a $30 million cut over the next 13 years,” Roth added.

“Ideally we can come up with something before that, probably unlikely, but I don’t think it’s unrealistic [for our goal to be], within the next 12 months, we have an exit plan and we execute it.”

What would it take to leave the conference? According to ESPN:

To get out of the league, Florida State would have to pay a $120 million exit fee and go to court to challenge the existing grant of rights, which gives the ACC media rights for its member schools through the length of the contract.

No school has gone to court yet to challenge the grant of rights, which exists in every Power 5 conference. Florida State, along with other schools in the ACC, has studied the contract language in the grant of rights for more a year.

In an interview with ESPN earlier Wednesday, Florida State athletic director Michael Alford said, “We have a great understanding of what opportunities there are in that document. How that document could hold us back, but also what the opportunities are. So this is going to be a discussion. We’ll keep getting legal advice. Our legal team has a good understanding of that document.”

This news comes as the Pac-12 gets closer and closer to DEFCON 1 (or more like dead-conference 1, am I right), with the Arizona Wildcat’s board of regents set to meet Thursday night to talk “possible legal advice and discussion regarding university athletics.”

From our SB Nation sister site, Arizona Desert Swarm:

This is the second time ABOR will meet in executive action—in other words, behind closed doors—having previously met Tuesday. The Tuesday meeting came the same day that Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff presented a media rights deal to the nine remaining Pac-12 presidents that reportedly would make Apple the primary media partner and would pay schools approximately $20 million in annual revenue.

Pac-12 presidents did not agree to the deal during the meeting, and a second meeting is reportedly scheduled.

The way things are heading, Kliavkoff might not have another chance to present in front of Arizona president Robert Robbins and ASU president Michael Crow.

It sounds increasingly likely that Arizona and ASU will make a joint decision on whether to remain in the Pac-12 or leave for the Big 12.

This news comes as the Big Ten has let word loose that its willing to add more members, beginning exploratory discussions about expanding membership to 18-20 teams.

The schools from the Pac-12 reportedly being considered are Oregon, Washington, Cal and Stanford, while the conference is also keeping an eye on what’s unfolding within the ACC according to Action Network’s Brett McMurphy.

All of this equals out to a waiting game, with all parties waiting for the first domino to drop. If Arizona, Arizona State and Utah book it for the Big 12, the Pac-12 suddenly is the Pac-6 — with any potential conference-saving TV deals shrinking alongside membership.

The Big Ten, completely happy to retain the illusion of not intefering with others, would then be provided a chance to snag Oregon and Washington (its two priorities) in addition to any other potential footprint-expanding programs — possibly ones located in the south, where the conference has yet to establish a presence.

For some giggles after that long, long block of text — here’s ACC media lashing out after the news their bellcow is trying to find its way off the pasture:


Florida State soccer will start the 2023 season ranked No. 6 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll — the sixth-straight season and 17th time in the past 18 years the Seminoles will start inside the top 10:

The Seminoles are coming off their third-straight College Cup appearance and their third-straight ACC Championship. The Seminoles return eight starters from last year’s team while also adding four transfers in Lily Farkas (Michigan), Taylor Huff (Tennessee), Leah Pais (Pitt) and Claire Rain (Tennessee). The Seminoles also bring in the No. 3 ranked freshman class with Jordynn Dudley, Peyton Nourse, Maggie Taitano, Adelyn Todd, and Amelia Van Zanten.




Seven Florida State softball players were named NFCA Scholar Athletes:

  • Madi Balk - 4.00 GPA
  • Ali DuBois - 3.96 GPA
  • Madi Frey - 3.76 GPA
  • Jahni Kerr - 3.70 GPA
  • Mack Leonard - 3.65 GPA
  • Amaya Ross - 3.69 GPA
  • Emma Wilson - 3.7 GPA

DuBois and Leonard earned their second NFCA Scholar-Athlete honoree while Balk, Frey, Kerr, Ross and Wilson are making their first appearance on the NFCA Scholar-Athlete list. Kerr and Leonard also posted All-ACC caliber seasons as Kerr was named a First Team All-ACC honoree and Leonard was a Third Team All-ACC honoree. As a team, the Seminoles posted a 3.13 cumulative GPA.

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Suvranu De, dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, is building a simulator to improve learning for physicians undergoing training for robotic surgeries for oral cancers:

The work is funded by a four-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health.

“We’ve always been taught to learn by doing,” De said. “What if we could use technology to accelerate learning? Learning happens in the brain. For a task such as this, it’s about neurons in the cortical regions of the brain being attuned to what you’re doing. We think we can stimulate those neurons in the brain with electric current to help surgeons learn faster and reduce errors.”

Physicians training on the simulator will wear a cap that delivers low electric current to the parts of the brain involved in learning a complex fine motor task such as robotic surgery. The idea is that stimulating those parts of the brain will increase the excitability of the underlying neurons, accelerating learning.

The goal is to develop a simulator that takes advantage of the brain’s neural plasticity to function as a better teacher than existing methods. That would be a benefit for surgical residents, who have limited time to learn the skills they need to deliver high-quality service to patients. It could also help surgeons who need practice with certain procedures to maintain their skills.

Florida State University’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning’s Master of Science in Planning (MSP) program has been ranked No. 18 among U.S. programs by Planetizen:

The program rose from No. 22 last year to No. 18 among public and private universities nationwide, making it the top-ranked program in Florida and the No. 11 ranked public university program nationally.

“FSU’s Urban & Regional Planning program has long been the largest and best in Florida,” said Tim Chapin dean of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. “I am thrilled to see the program again recognized as one of the finest in the nation by Planetizen.”