Norvell: ‘Path has changed but the destination has not’

Florida State coach Mike Norvell provided an update on the football program and answered some questions from boosters in a video chat on Thursday afternoon. Here are some highlights and the link to the complete video is below:

The NCAA is allowing schools to do four hours of virtual meetings each week. What FSU coaches and others around the nation were able to do was voluntary from a football standpoint. “Our guys have done a good job of continuing to grow,” Norvell said. “… We’ve been able to stay in pretty good contact. We’ve had academic meetings. I’ve sent our guys videos, trying to keep them updated on where things are.”

Norvell is focusing on helping the players improve themselves academically and through conditioning and nutrition. “We can still maximize the day,” Norvell said. “At the end of the day, my message to them this week is ‘Even though the path has changed, nobody expected this.’ … The path has changed but the destination has not.”

Norvell lamented that the spring was cut short, limiting the team’s development. “You want those 15 practices, you want to go through those experiences because sometimes the best way to learn is through failures at practice and the correction that you get,’ Norvell said. “We’re not getting those opportunities at this current moment. We’re trying to do the best that we can virtually and develop the mind as much as possible.”

Norvell was asked about the football culture at FSU. He said he really liked the guys and their mindset. The distinction he makes is a “disconnect in the overall expectations and standards.” He reiterates that he told players upon his arrival that there would be a “standard of excellence in every aspect.” His No. 1 job is to serve the student-athlete. “The main way I am going to serve them is I’m going to hold them accountable for them doing what they say they are going to accomplish. There is not one person on the football team that says they are going to be average.” Norvell wants to inspire them to be the “best version of themselves.”

What is Norvell looking for in a recruit? He is looking for a passion to be successful academically, socially and on the football field. It can’t be just about football. Second, he wants to see a player who feels relationships are important to them. He wants them to make an impact on others. He also observes a player’s interaction with his family as well as with high school coaches – was he driven to please his prep head coach or position coach?

Norvell says quarterbacks James Blackman, Jordan Travis and Tate Rodemaker each have their own strengths. He is looking forward to seeing how they process the information given to them by coaches. He wants them to not just be a great leader but “to consistently perform the actions of what are asked from you at an elite level and to do that day in and day out.” The emphasis is not leading through words but leading through actions, Norvell said.

Norvell says he enjoys reading books. After signing day, he picks a book to read and has done it each year he has been a head coach. He has read “The Bowden Way,” and felt it gave him an insight into coach Bobby Bowden and what was important to him and how he was able to sustain success.

The complete video from Thursday’s chat can be watched here. Norvell will do another video chat next Thursday with the boosters.