FSU football rival fans have long been jeolous of Mike Norvell and the coaching staff's ability to recruit transfer portal players. FSU's coaching staff were among the first to understand the importance of acquiring talent at key positions from the portal to close the gap on the field. It's rare for high school players to find playing time early, no matter how many stars they have coming out of high school. It often takes 1-2 years for offensive and defensive linemen to get physically prepared to play. It's also a tough transition for wide receivers, tight ends and linebackers. It's why those positions rarely have players that contribute at at a high impact level. If we go back to peak Jimbo Fisher FSU, those top recruiting classes rarely had guys who shined as true freshmen.
Lamacus Joyner, Christian Jones, Telvin Smith, Nick O'Leary, and others were not amazing. However, they made incredible jumps in subsequent years. FSU coaches in the Mike Norvell era have done the same with prep players, but they've also shown success getting production from talented transfer portal guys with little to no production. Rivals fans love to talk about FSU recruiting and the narratives they can't develop prep players and use the portal. However, they then try to say FSU coaches take guys from the portal with no production. FSU coaches have nullified both narratives, and it's why you've seen prep recruiting drastically improve, and why FSU always has top transfer portal classes. Let's look at some prep and transfer portal guys the FSU coaches developed.