FSU football had three defensive backs with redshirt seniors Renardo Green, Jarrian Jones, and Akeem Dent having their eligibilities exceeded after the 2023 season.
However, defensive backs coach Patrick Surtain Sr. will be heading into his second year with the Seminoles. He has done a phenomenal job recruiting for the position. While some fans will primarily focus on Florida State striking out on five-star safety KJ Bolden, who flipped his commitment to the Georgia Bulldogs, Surtain Sr. has made his presence known.
For starters, he acquired four defensive backs within the 2024 recruiting cycle in four-star cornerbacks Charles Lester III, Jamari Howard, Cai Bates, and Ricky Knight III.
Then he navigated to the transfer portal where he landed the commitments of Alabama's Earl Little Jr. and Miami's Davonte Brown. The talent in the secondary is certainly one of the best on the football team's roster at this time.
While the position group itself is unproven to a degree, the defensive back room is one to monitor for the Seminoles this season as players such as safety Conrad Hussey and cornerback Azareye'h Thomas look to make the most of their expanded roles.
It also helps that Florida State received fantastic news on Friday as redshirt junior cornerback Fentrell Cypess II announced that he would be returning for his senior season in Tallahassee.
With head football coach Mike Norvell signing a new contract to keep himself in Tallahassee, Florida State is continuing to climb as a serious sustainable contender in college football. The Seminoles have always been referred to as one of the schools that can potentially claim the title "DBU".
I could envision a situation where Earl Little Jr., Fentrell Cypress II, and Azareye'h Thomas are the starting cornerbacks, while Shyheim Brown and Conrad Hussey could be the starting safeties. That would be a nice foundation to build upon in the years to come.
Florida State was able to force ten interceptions and only allowed 179.7 passing yards per game (11th in the FBS) during the 2023 season. The growth and development are evident under the guidance of Surtain Sr. It will be exciting to see how this defense blossoms with his leadership.