Well, the dream season quickly turned into a nightmare for Mike Norvell’s Florida State Seminoles, and now Norvell has to pick up the pieces and field a contender again in 2024. This time, an undefeated season will certainly ensure a spot in the College Football Playoff, but the depth chart needs a couple of tweaks to make that possible.
Jordan Travis is out of eligibility, and Trey Benson, Jared Verse, Johnny Wilson, Keon Coleman, Jaheim Bell, Kalen Deloach, and a few others are heading to the NFL, so the roster is going to look very different next season.
To fill those spots, Norvell welcomed a loaded class of 15 transfers which includes former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei and five players off Alabama’s roster. The team that FSU trotted out in the Orange Bowl certainly wasn’t going to cut it, so Norvell made big moves to reimagine his team.
Still, his team building isn’t done, Norvell still needs to put out his best 11 on offense and defense, and though talented players, these three don’t belong in that group.
As I said, Keon Coleman, Johnny Wilson, Jaheim Bell, and Trey Benson are all heading for the NFL. That means the FSU offense is losing 150 catches, 2,005 yards, and 16 touchdowns from those four players alone. The internal candidates to fill those spots on the offense are redshirt senior Ja’Khi Douglas, redshirt senior Kentron Poitier, and redshirt senior Darion Williamson.
Norvell has also brought Jalen Brown from LSU and Malik Benson from Alabama to compete for snaps on the outside. That’s a loaded group with plenty of experience, but no player who truly stands out. That means Williamson could be in line for a workload increase from his 168 snaps in 2023, but from what he showed last season, that could be a mistake.
Williamson was targeted 20 times last year but only caught nine passes for 127 yards and one touchdown. Despite being eighth on the team in targets, he was third on the team with three drops and came down with none of his five contest catch opportunities. He got a full workload with 23 snaps and seven targets in the Orange Bowl against Georgia but didn’t do a lot to help Brock Glenn, with just two catches for 38 yards.
At 6-foot-3 with good speed, Williamson profiles as a deep threat on the outside, and 5 of his 20 targets were over 20 yards downfield, but he didn’t hang on to any of them.