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Noles News: FSU has No. 3 transfer class after pair of offensive pickups

All the latest in Florida State Seminoles sports

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

Recruiting

Big news for the 2025 class, as major Florida State wide receiver target Jaime Ffrench out of Jacksonville has de-committed from the Alabama Crimson Tide in further fallout from the retirement of Nick Saban.

FSU added a pair of players through the portal over the weekend — two former SEC players in another Alabama transfer, running back Roydell Williams, as well as Florida transfer offensive lineman Richie Leonard IV.

From NoleThruandThru:

Williams brings a ton of experience with him to Tallahassee. He played in 45 career games for Alabama over four seasons, both as part of the Crimson Tide’s stacked running back rotation and on special teams. He totaled 234 rushes for 1,165 yards and 11 touchdowns, good for a career average of 5.0 yards per attempt. He also caught 21 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

The 6’2”, 310 pound Leonard started all 12 games at left guard for the Gators in 2023, leading the offensive line in snaps with 755 and grading at 65.9 per PFF. He played in 31 total games for UF over three seasons of action, starting 14 of them. Heading into his redshirt-senior season, Leonard will slot in to the rotation at guard and has a ceiling of a starting role, with a floor of bringing a lot of experience to the offensive line depth.

Florida State, with nine four-stars, has the No. 3 transfer class is tied for the most blue-chip transfer players in the eyes of 247Sports (Ole Miss has 1 five-star, 8 four-stars). On3, who calculates its rankings based on transfers out and in, has Florida State as the No. 4 class and considers FSU to have lost one four-star player (Bless Harris) and added two (DJ Uiagalelei and Marvin Jones Jr.).

247Sports Transfer Rankings

  1. Ole Miss Rebels | 90.27 (1 five-star, 8 four-star, 6 three-star) - 15 Commits
  2. Texas A&M Aggies | 89.00 (0 five-star, 7 four-star, 13 three-star) - 22 Commits
  3. Florida State Seminoles | 90.08 (0 five-star, 9 four-star, 3 three-star) - 13 Commits
  4. Colorado Buffaloes | 88.30 (0 five-star, 6 four-star, 14 three-star) - 21 Commits
  5. Oregon Ducks | 90.33 (1 five-star, 4 four-star, 4 three-star) - 9 Commits
  6. Louisville Cardinals | 87.88 (0 five-star, 4 four-star, 20 three-star) - 24 Commits
  7. South Carolina Gamecocks | 88.36 (0 five-star, 4 four-star, 10 three-star) - 17 Commits
  8. Missouri Tigers | 89.78 (0 five-star, 4 four-star, 5 three-star) - 10 Commits
  9. NC State Wolfpack | 88.82 (0 five-star, 4 four-star, 7 three-star) - 11 Commits
  10. USC Trojans | 89.40 (0 five-star, 5 four-star, 5 three-star) - 11 Commits

On3 Sports Transfer Rankings

  1. Louisville Cardinals | Transfer In, 78.59 avg. (22 players) | Transfer Out, 63.95 avg. (21 players)
  2. Colorado Buffaloes | Transfer In, 77.41 avg. (22 players) | Transfer Out, 63.41 avg. (17 players)
  3. Ole Miss Rebels | Transfer In, 83.50 avg. (14 players) | Transfer Out, 67.13 avg. (17 players)
  4. Florida State Seminoles | Transfer In, 78.31 avg. (13 players) | Transfer Out, 64.40 avg. (20 players)
  5. South Carolina Gamecocks | Transfer In, 78.25 avg. (16 players) | Transfer Out, 67.71 avg. (21 players)
  6. Cal Golden Bears | Transfer In, 78.08 avg. (12 players) | Transfer Out, 65.33 avg. (15 players)
  7. NC State Wolfpack | Transfer In, 77.45 avg. (11 players) | Transfer Out, 63.74 avg. (19 players)
  8. Missouri Tigers | Transfer In, 77.10 avg. (10 players) | Transfer Out, 64.73 avg. (15 players)
  9. UCF Knights | Transfer In, 75.36 avg. (15 players) | Transfer Out, 66.08 avg. (14 players)
  10. Wisconsin Badgers | Transfer In, 77.23 avg. (13 players) | Transfer Out, 66.93 avg. (15 players)

Football

In case you forgot because news happens every five seconds, let alone in a 24 hour news cycle, but it has been just three days since Mike Norvell officially confirmed he’d be remaining in Tallahassee despite Alabama’s advances, signing an extension for eight years to continue the climb with FSU:

“We came to Tallahassee four years ago, and it was a life-changing experience. Knowing the great history, tradition and expectation has guided our staff on a daily basis. It has been an incredible journey these last four years, and I have fallen in love with this program, the university and the people who I get to represent. I am so excited to continue our climb to push Florida State back to the top of college football. We are committed to being our best on and off the field while helping develop our players to be their best in every area of their lives. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing commitment into our student-athletes and staff from President McCullough, AD Alford and the Board of Trustees. #KeepCLIMBing and Go Noles!”

Norvell was one of the top candidates to replace the retiring Nick Saban — no parties have (or likely ever will) confirm what discussions were had and how far, but it’s of note that multiple sources reported there was pursuit of the coach from Tuscaloosa, with 247Sports going as far as to say that “there was a belief within the Alabama camp that Norvell was there for the taking.”

Instead, as Jordan Silversmith wrote, the now fifth-year head coach followed , opting to keep building on what he’s put together at Florida State:

Norvell, as exhibited through a plethora of actions, is one of the few coaches in the sport who still sincerely possesses a belief in maintaining high morals and loyalty (“how you do anything is how you’ll do everything”), sometimes to a fault. He always mentions what coaching a program with so much history, tradition, and culture means to him — it’s illustrated by how much emotional weight he puts into the success of his players and staff. It matters to him to be a coach and impact his players’ lives daily. If he bolted for the Alabama job, all of what he stood for and talked about would be questioned.

Instead, he delivered his loudest statement.

Mike Norvell will be the face of the program to guide Florida State through the next challenging years of the ever-changing college football landscape. He will be the leader when FSU inevitably joins a new conference. He will be the man who needs to answer questions from the NCAA investigation and tie up the loose ends from the recruiting failures.

Speaking of Jordan — he also took his first dive into how the Florida State entrants into the 2024 NFL Draft shape up for the next level, starting with offense:

Frank, keeper of the Tomahawk Nation records and lore, dropped part two of his Sunday Seminole Memories of our dear reader’s recollections of Florida State’s third national championship win:

Basketball

Big things popping all around for Florida State basketball — first up, the men kept their winning streak alive with a 67-58 road win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish:

Primo Spears led Florida State with 13 points and the Seminoles earned their first ACC road win of the year against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at the Joyce Center, 67-58. Spears was one of four players to score in double figures for the Seminoles with Jalen Warley, Jamir Watkins, and Darin Green Jr.

No. 21 women’s basketball got its second straight win over a top 25 opponent, this time taking down No. 11 Virginia Tech in a major 89-81 win.

From Prince Akeem Joeffer:

This is a huge win on more than one level. For NCAA purposes this win alone will move FSU up a seed line. Virginia Tech is ranked #12 in the NET so this is a Q1 win (FSU’s second) and will almost certainly remain one as VT is an elite team. For ACC tournament purposes this win puts the Noles in great shape to finish in the top 4 and get a double bye in the ACC Tournament. FSU will be favored in almost all of the games down the stretch so barring injury (or a significant slump) the Seminoles are right where they want to be regarding the postseason.

Soccer

Leilanni Nesbeth, Lauren Flynn and Cristina Roque continued an established tradition of Florida State soccer sending off players to the professional ranks, with the trio all seleted in the 2024 NWSL Draft on Friday — the second year in a row FSU had three or more players selected:

Nesbeth was the first Seminole off the board as the midfielder from St. David’s, Bermuda, was selected by the Chicago Red Stars with the 10th overall pick in the first round. Nesbeth kept the Seminoles’ streak alive as FSU has now had a first round pick in three consecutive seasons. Jaelin Howell was selected in the first round in 2022 while Jenna Nighswonger, Clara Robbins and Emily Madril were selected in the first round in the 2023 draft.

Flynn and Roque will rejoin forces in Salt Lake City, Utah, next season as both players were selected by the Utah Royals who will be entering their first season in the NWSL. Flynn was picked with the second pick in the second round (16th pick overall) to give FSU their second draftee of the night. Flynn played in 79 games while making 70 starts for the Seminoles over the course of her career. Flynn ended her career with seven goals and three assists, five of those goals which came in 2023.

Roque was the second goalkeeper to be taken off the board as she was picked in the third round with the 33rd overall pick. In 67 games as a Seminoles, Roque allowed just -0.67 goals per game. Roque ended her career with a terrific record in goal with 59 wins, six draws and just two losses. Roque ended her career as the school record holder in both wins and shutouts in the NCAA Tournament.

All Sports

Florida State track and field opened its 2024 season this weekend:

WOMEN’S SIDE:

Suus Altorf started off the Seminoles on the right note in the one mile run with firm new facilities record and personal best of (4:42.99), which was good enough for a first place status.

Shenese Walker took her chances in the 60m run for a first place time of (7.36). Liana Tyson posted a second place finish (7.45) in the respective event.

Freshman Kaelyaah Liburd stepped up to the challenge in the 400m, marking a first place finish with a time of (55.69). Ave Klien finished behind Liburd (56.87).

Alexandra Webster boasted her first collegiate win in the prelim round of the 60m Hurdles (8.27), before taking a second place overall finish in the finals.

Kaniya Johnson had no issues racking up her own first place status in the 200m (24.30)

The 4x400 relay team had everyone on the edge of their seats after a thrilling first place finish and new facilities record (3:37.19). The time also marks the 6th all-time record best at FSU.

MEN’S SIDE

Andre Korbmacher made a statement in his rookie debut in the 60m Hurdles. Korbmacher boasted a firm prelim time of (7.75), which was set as a new facilities record. The Freshman had no problem on setting a higher standard as he went onto to break the facilities record once again for a time of (7.71) in the finals. His final time currently is set as the 2nd best time in the NCAA and 7th all-time in FSU history.

The 3000 run crew saw several Garnet and Gold members take the top nine spots in the respective event.

David Mullarkey first place finishing time of (7:53.54) currently sits at 3rd all-time best in FSU history, as Zach Cloud’s time of (7:58.69) sits at 10th all-time. Both Mullarkey and Cloud also set facilities records in the 3k.

In the field events, Jaiden Rollins picked up a solid first place finish with a mark of (7.26m). Laquan Ellis took part in the first place finishes in the Triple Jump with a mark of (14.91m) as Jayden Louis-Charles finished in second (14.72m)

FSU swimming and diving also kicked off its spring, with the No. 16/23 Seminoles hitting the water this past weekend:

The 23rd-ranked Seminoles finished first in 13 events while facing the Commodores, picking up the win 230-61. FSU fell to No. 12 Georgia, 180-117 and are now 5-3, 0-1 ACC on the season. The 16th-ranked men’s team dropped its contest to the No. 7 Bulldogs 193-107, moving to 5-1, 1-0 ACC.

Florida State women’s tennis is set to open its 2024 season at home this Tuesday:

The Seminoles return six individuals with Vic Allen, Ellie Schoppe, Anna Arkadianou, Cade Cricchio, Kristyna Lavickova, and Millie Bissett all coming back to build off a successful 2023 campaign.

Florida State adds four new faces as Maelie Monfils, Laura Putz, Eva Shaw, and Chiara Di Genova enter their first season.

The Seminoles are coming off a 17-win season and finished 24th in the 2023 final ITA rankings. The team saw a multitude of accomplishments as they advanced to the ACC Quarterfinals for the 26th time, was selected to the NCAA Tournament for the 24th time and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season.

Meanwhile, the No. 20 men’s team swept Mercer and Jacksonville State to start the season off on a high-note:

“I thought it was a good first day of playing, winning all 12 singles matches we played today and winning the four doubles that we completed,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I thought Azariah in the first match was impressive to close out while Justin took two wins on the day, showing that the freshmen can really contribute. Yusef handled both matches fairly easily, Jamie earned a couple of wins, and Alex Bulte did really well on the day too.”