FSU football: Thoughts on Marcus Woodson taking job at Arkansas

FSU defensive backs coach Marcus WoodsonImg 4327
FSU defensive backs coach Marcus WoodsonImg 4327 /

FSU football coach Mike Norvell has kept the majority of his original staff intact through the first three years. FSU defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson was not on the original staff but joined after Mike Norvell’s original hire, TJ Rushing took a job at Texas A&M shortly after getting hired at FSU.

Woodson was a safe hire who had coached under Mike Norvell at Memphis and spent time as the recruiting coordinator at Auburn. Woodson has seen his ups and downs as a coach and recruiter. In the latter part, I’ll cut him some slack with the product FSU had put on the field, and the pandemic didn’t help things.

The entire Travis Hunter saga wasn’t a good look, though I don’t place much blame on Woodson for that ordeal. However, blue-chip defensive backs are a dime a dozen in Florida, and FSU signed two blue-chip cornerbacks in the 2021 class.

The top signee in the class, Hunter Washington, never contributed and transferred to Mississippi State(where he still isn’t playing much). Omarion Cooper emerged as a true freshman to start in the latter part of the 2021 season.

He was thought to be an impact player before an injured derailed him before the 2022 season. He never regained his form. AZ Thomas was a top 100 player in the 2022 class, who signed with FSU in the 11th hour, but that was more to coaching changes at other places he liked than Woodson’s recruiting.

Top 100 player Sam McCall largely signed because of Travis Hunter and has already left the program. Renardo Green saw a resurgence in his career this season, as did Jarrian Jones.

However, FSU cornerbacks always seemed to lose on 50-50 plays or not come up with interceptions when they were gifts thrown right to them. Was it coaching, or did they need a higher quality player?

Is Woodson leaving to coach linebackers or become the defensive coordinator? If you recall, FSU linebackers coach Chris Marve left to take the defensive coordinator position at Virginia Tech.

There was no acknowledgment from Mike Norvell for his time at FSU or vice versa. In other words, he was told to look around, and that seems to be the case here.

I could be wrong. However, I think Mike Norvell understands he needs a better recruiter on staff, especially with the potential for Alex Atkins to leave in the next year or so. Better players will require less coaching acumen, and defensive coordinator Adam Fuller works with the defensive backs also.

I’m not sure who Mike Norvell will hire, but I know this. The man always has plans A, B, C, and D. It was telling Adam Fuller was in on most of the transfer portal guys recruitment of late. Also, his position at FSU is secure after a 10-win season, so potential coaches won’t be afraid to come to Tallahassee now that they know he’ll likely be there for the next few years.

Either way, the chance to upgrade the staff comes at a great time. Norvell can make a hire before spring camp begins, which will give the new hire enough time to bond with current players and get on the road recruiting for 2024 and beyond. I know I wouldn’t want a former FSU player with little coaching experience and an unproven recruiter. Terrell Buckley likely isn’t leaving his head coaching job in the XFL, plus is he an ace recruiter? Does he have great ties in Florida being that he’s from Mississippi? I trust whatever move Mike Norvell makes here.

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