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FSU Football: The portal madness is about to begin!

It may feel like forever ago but picture a time before online shopping when malls were still the rage, and crowds would line up for Black Friday. The doors burst open, and madness ensued as people flooded in, trampling a poor unsuspecting grandma along the way.

It was a wild time, but not much different from the transfer portal in college football today. On Tuesday, April 16th, the portal gates will swing open for two weeks, and players can start looking for a new place to call home.

During the last opening, over 2,000 players entered the portal with over 100 blue-chip players up for grabs as programs across the country battle to build their rosters. For FSU fans, this has typically been something we look forward to having a staff with an impressive history of portal usage.

So far in the 2024 class, FSU has added 15 total transfers with 10 blue-chip players to bolster the roster. This impressive haul gives FSU a top 5 transfer class per the 247 Sports composite rankings. As for this upcoming session, there are rumblings that it could be a wild one with lots of big-name players hitting the market and big checkbooks waiting to enter the bidding war.

looking at the current roster

As FSU nears the end of spring camp, things will become clear who is part of the plans for 2024. This will lead the staff to conduct exit interviews, and consequently, players to exit the program. Remember that FSU is already a few players over the 85 scholarship limit. Plus, they are currently down a few scholarships from the recent recruiting sanctions and will also be looking to add players.

This means we can expect to see several players hit the portal in the coming weeks. I suspect it will be upwards of 5 to as many as 10 or more depending on how many players they plan to add. The harsh truth is that roster attrition is part of the game and guys get recruited over. Sure, there will be some names that we hoped would stay, that hit the portal, but it’s not always a bad thing as the talent level continues to increase.

The portal isn’t open yet and we’ve already seen reports that FSU DB Greedy Vance intends to enter. So, who else, or better yet, where else, could we see attrition when the portal opens?

Typical with any team, FSU is loaded at some position groups and thin at others. Spring camp provides the staff an opportunity to see where they need to balance things out. We’ll look at each side of the ball for potential areas that could see some movement as spring concludes and the portal opens up.

I will note that these are just my thoughts on where FSU is at and how things might go because we know that FSU will have players transfer, but who? Only time will tell. Lastly, in the NIL era, it would be easy to sign a player as a walk-on and pay their way with NIL, so I don’t put as much into scholarship limits as I used to.


I don’t foresee any moves at quarterback. With Jordan Travis out of eligibility and Tate Rodemaker transferring, FSU had to take a quarterback. They already signed DJ Uiagalelei giving them a veteran option to go along with the talented you guys in the room. They also picked up Trevor Jackson, a 4-star walk-on, giving them solid depth and competition.

Running Back

Running back could be a position to watch with six scholarship players on the roster. But, I think FSU wants to keep them all because they offer different skill sets that can be used in various packages. Not to mention, FSU has three seniors at running back, so they will need guys to fill the starting roles next year.

The promise of future playing time could be enough to keep the “middle guy” rs- Fr. Sam Singleton in the fold, but FSU did sign talented freshmen Kam Davis and Michai Danzy. They also brought in junior running back Jaylin Lucas.

While I think he could have a breakout year and hope he stays, Caziah Holmes could be one to watch. We assume Lawrence Toafili will be the feature back of the rotation and FSU just brought in power back Roydell Williams from Alabama. It’s worth noting that Williams is 5’10” 225 pounds, Kam Davis is 5’10” 221 pounds, and Holmes is 5’11” 215 pounds, so they are the closest in size and skill set. Holmes was originally considered a speedy all-purpose back out of high school, but FSU has Toafili and Lucas, who also fit that bill.

Holmes joined FSU in 2022 but wasn’t eligible to play until 2023. Last season, he played just 90 snaps, most of which came in blowouts or the bowl game. While I don’t expect Holmes to transfer because he may finally get the opportunity he’s been waiting for, if I had to pick a candidate he would be on the list. It’s worth noting that 1) he did sign with the Battles End and 2) so did Greedy Vance and that didn’t stop him from announcing that he’s hitting the portal.

wide receiver

The most obvious position group is wide receiver because of sheer numbers. The Seminoles currently have a whopping 13 receivers on the roster. FSU has a mix of seniors battling for starting spots, oddly no juniors, and the rest are sophomores and freshmen. My guess for the most likely to enter the portal would be one of the seniors who doesn’t appear to be in the running for a starting spot after spring.

Malik Benson is a presumed starter on the outside and Ja’Khi Douglas is a program guy, who will likely start in the slot unless Destyn Hill returns from injury before the season. Poitier should be ready to start if he stays healthy. However, if former 5-star Hykeem Williams, who looks physically ready to contribute now, were to beat out one of the veterans for the number one or even number two spots on the depth chart, it would make whoever he beats out a prime portal candidate.

Vandrevius Jacobs is also a name that is not an upperclassman who I’ll be watching. He had a breakout spring in 2023, but only played 33 snaps all season and FSU just brought in five talented freshmen receivers.

Players in their final year of eligibility who leave to chase playing time elsewhere make sense. For the younger guys, there will be opportunities going forward, but are they willing to wait? While I don’t see FSU adding a receiver from the portal, I certainly wouldn’t take it off the table if another Keon Coleman was available.

Offensive Line

Alex Atkins has done a tremendous job of overhauling Florida State’s offensive line room and for most FSU fans you simply can’t have enough bodies to throw at the issue. However, scholarship limits and NIL funds aren’t infinite, and the offensive line is another position group that FSU has a lot of guys on the roster.

At the same time, FSU has consistently battled the injury bug up front, and with how much the offensive line can make or break an offense, carrying a deep group into the season is acceptable (and probably preferred).

FSU doesn’t necessarily need to pursue any lineman in the portal, but as with any team in the country, if an elite-level offensive tackle was “get-able,” there’s no question they’re taking them. However, that’s a big if because it doesn’t happen often, and you’d be competing against the biggest program$ in the sport to land them. A name to watch here is Andrew Chamblee, a 6-foot-6, 304-pound redshirt freshman offensive tackle from Arkansas. (Per report from On3)

If they pursued an interior guy, which they already have a lot of, a name to watch is Jason Zandamela. He was highly targeted by FSU before signing with USC and has already entered the portal.

As for prospects to enter, this is a tough one because all the veteran players feel like part of the plans for 2024 if they want to have any sort of depth. It also wouldn’t make sense for a brand-new, undeveloped, lineman to leave this soon.

That brings us to the middle group of guys like Bryson Estes, Julian Armella, and Jalen Early, all of whom they like. We may not see any of them enter, especially with 6 red shirt seniors departing next year, meaning there will be starting spots up for grabs. But, if you had to make room from a numbers standpoint, this room is pretty full.

Tight End

FSU has carried several tight ends that haven’t contributed much in recent years, and currently have 5 listed on the 2024 roster. We saw what having production at the position could do for this offense last year when the Noles added Jaheim Bell.

Kyle Morlock is the presumed starter, Jackson West is an upperclassman whose name keeps getting mentioned, and Landen Thomas is the future at the position. The question becomes whether FSU will add another tight end from the portal. If Landen Thomas is ready to contribute now, I don’t think they have to. However, if a big-bodied tight end that can block and contribute to the passing game wanted to be in Tallahassee, I can certainly see the value is taking one.

That leaves Brian Courtney and Jerrale Powers as the prime candidates. Courtney is a versatile athletic guy who the staff was excited to get. He is a contributor on special teams and provides depth on defense after cross-training at linebacker. It was just announced that Powers will be out for the remainder of spring.

Defensive End

Last year, FSU had two great defensive ends with “ok” depth players behind them. However, the defensive end position is now one of the more loaded position groups on the team. FSU has 10 defensive ends currently on the roster, which is great for depth, but depth is getting harder and harder to hang onto in the portal era.

We already saw Gilber Edmond transfer back to South Carolina because the writing was on the wall that he was likely going to move down the depth chart this year. FSU will have a dangerous two-deep rotation with Marvin Jones Jr., Patrick Payton, Sione Lolohea, and Tomiwa Durojaiye (who will also be working inside at DT). Behind them, you have Byron Turner Jr. and a group of talented young players.

Byron Turner Jr. is the name I’m watching most here. He’s a RS-Jr, who has struggled to crack the starting lineup and will now have even stiffer competition for playing time. Aaron Hester could also be one to watch. Despite having a good spring, he will be hard-pressed to get significant playing time this year as a RS-So.

All the other players are either freshmen or Lamont Green Jr., who is a talented legacy recruit who missed time with injury last year. I hope they can hold onto all of them if they have room because it would be one of the deepest defensive end units in the country, but as I mentioned earlier, veteran depth is getting harder to hold onto nowadays.

Defensive Tackle

Defensive Tackle is the top position group that I would personally like to see FSU add from the portal. They lost a lot from last year by way of attrition and in the winter portal session. So far, they’ve added Grady Kelly and worked to retain Joshua Farmer. FSU could have one of the best defensive tackle duos in the country with Jackson and Farmer, but after that, Grady Kelly is the only other player with significant experience.

There are a few things to keep in mind here. 1) We saw how impactful it was to have dominant defensive tackles last year. 2) We saw how much it hurt to be thin at the position in 2022. 3) This is projected to be one of the most competitive positions to acquire talent in the spring portal session, so landing a player won’t be easy or cheap.

Knowing that FSU has playoff aspirations again this year, I’d like to see them land at least one experienced defensive tackle from the portal. It would go a long way for depth in case any of your top 3 have to miss time during the season (Josh Farmer is already out for the remainder of spring). FSU has young guys that will have to be counted on, but defensive tackle recruiting has been lackluster in recent years, leaving a void that’s been supplemented with transfers which appears necessary again this year.


This was a position group that we knew needed some help in 2024 with Kalen Deloach and Tatum Bethune off to the NFL. Linebacker is another position that has suffered from subpar recruiting in recent years, so the portal has had to fill the gaps.

It cannot be understated how important it was to get DJ Lundy back out of the portal. He gives you an experienced player that can lock down one of the starting spots. FSU also brought in Shawn Murphy from Alabama, who they like but he didn’t play a ton at Bama. Justin Cryer has been making his presence known in spring and Blake Nicholson has the highest ceiling of the group if he can develop in time for the season.

If two guys out of Murphy, Cryer, Nichelson, and/or Omar Graham Jr. appear ready to go by fall, they may not need a linebacker, but it would make many of us feel better if they added one more experienced guy to the group. UNC Charlotte linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green, who was previously targeted by FSU, has announced that he intends to enter the portal, so that’s a name for Nole fans to keep an eye on.

Defensive Back

If fielding a 7on7 team was the goal, FSU would be hard to beat. The Noles are loaded with talented players at the skill positions and DB is one of them. Not counting Greedy Vance, FSU currently has 16 defensive backs on the roster.

Safety isn’t the concern here as FSU has one presumed starter and 4/5 guys battling for the other spot. While they are deep at corner, out of the eleven guys on the roster, only three are upperclassmen who are all projected starters. There’s also Kevin Knowles, who transitioned to safety last season, and well, didn’t have the greatest year.

We thought a move back to his original position might be beneficial because honestly, if all things were equal, I’d rather roll with a talented young player like Conrad Hussey at safety. Will Knowles get lost in translation or will he stick it out and battle for a starting spot? He’s a senior now, so his eligibility clock is ticking.

The portal is about to be open for business and it will almost certainly be another wild few weeks. We’ll likely see names enter that we weren’t expecting and FSU land more talented targets to replace them. Teams like Michigan, Washington, Arizona, and Alabama are all chomping at the bit to get their turn to raid rosters after being picked apart because of coaching changes that happened after the first portal window had closed.

While there aren’t many rules in place, and players who have already transferred once could certainly do so again, there is one that is noteworthy. In the SEC, players who enter the portal in the spring session cannot transfer to another SEC school and play in the fall. That rule is huge for two reasons. 1) It means teams like FSU will have a better shot to land talented SEC transfers. (8 of the 15 players FSU signed are from SEC schools). 2) That also means SEC teams will be looking at non-SEC rosters to fill their needs, and FSU has one of the more talented non-SEC rosters in the country. Now, this shouldn’t be an issue, but we know tampering runs rampant in college football, so unfortunately a big spender finding a way to entice players away from your roster is certainly possible.

As the madness approaches, just remember that no matter who leaves, or who FSU fans want but don’t get, Mike Norvell and this staff have never given us a reason not to trust their process. So, sit back, relax, and grab some popcorn because college football free agency is about to begin. Thanks for reading and Go Noles!

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