FSU football is only 17 days from their 2023 season opener against the LSU Tigers on Sunday, September 3rd in Orlando, Florida.
Can you believe it? We have almost arrived!
There is a different type of positivity surrounding the Seminoles’ football program with them achieving their 25th 10-win season last year.
Fans are starting to garner a heightened sense of excitement because the fourth season under head football coach Mike Norvell in Tallahassee is looking to be one to remember.
As we navigate through what seems to be an eternity for the start of the season, let’s discuss some of the pre-season awards that I forecast for the Seminoles’ season.
MVP: QB Jordan Travis
Florida State redshirt senior quarterback Jordan Travis announced that he would return to Tallahassee for one final season this past offseason for some unfinished business.
During the 2022 season, he had a phenomenal campaign, throwing for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns. According to FanDuel, the dynamic quarterback has the third best odds (+1200) to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy.
Offensive MVP: QB Jordan Travis
Surprise, surprise… Travis is listed as my offensive MVP this season. The West Palm Beach (FL) native has an offense filled with explosive weapons such as Johnny Wilson, Keon Coleman, Trey Benson, Jaheim Bell, among others. The college football world will monitor this high-powered offensive unit, especially if they find a way to defeat LSU and/or Clemson in September.
Defensive MVP: DE Jared Verse
Just like his quarterback, the Albany transfer decided to return once again to play for head football coach Mike Norvell and the Seminoles. Verse impacted the defensive side of the football during the 2022 season, where he recorded 48 total tackles (17 tackles for loss) and nine sacks. Could we see a double-digit sack season from the talented pass rusher as he hopes to solidify a top-ten pick in the 2024 NFL Draft?
Breakout Player: DE Patrick Payton
The former four-star prospect had a solid 2022 season, with 31 total tackles (6 tackles for loss) and five sacks. However, that was when Payton split reps with defensive end Derrick McLendon II (who transferred to Colorado this offseason). The Miami (FL) native was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year last season with his performance. I expect that elevated level of excellence to continue with being the starting defensive end opposite of Verse.
Sleeper: DT Joshua Farmer
During the offseason, the defensive tackle position room was considered one of the deepest rooms on the entire team. However, former Miami junior defensive tackle transfer Darrell Jackson Jr.’s hardship waiver request got denied, and he is ineligible to play during the 2023 season. Who will be able to step up in his place?
Look no further than redshirt sophomore Joshua Farmer. The two starters at the defensive tackle position will likely be Fabien Lovett Sr. (who has got to stay healthy) and Braden Fiske. However, those large human beings won’t be able to stay on the field for long periods of time. As a result, Farmer will have his fair share of opportunities to make an impact. During the 2022 season, he had 15 total tackles (six tackles for loss) and two sacks. I expect him to take a huge step in development this season.
Rookie of the Year: Destyn Hill
Man, I never thought I would finally be able to say that Destyn Hill is on Florida State’s official roster. What a crazy world that we live in! The true freshman wide receiver has been making his presence known on the practice field, where he has been making plays where even quarterback Jordan Travis has noticed his work ethic. The former Edna Karr High School standout should be able to get some opportunities in the passing game and, at the very least, be utilizing in the special teams aspect.