Andrew Boselli had a feeling that Mike Norvell was going to tell Florida State players that the program would need a long-term rebuild.
But Boselli, who will be a senior in 2020, was encouraged by the energy that Norvell brought in his one-on-one meeting with the new coach. And he liked hearing that high expectations would be set from day 1 in January.
“He made it very clear that his goal is to win now immediately, starting in January,” Boselli said. “That’s kind of fired me up as a senior, of course, it is what you want to hear.”
Norvell seems to have won over a large group of veteran players. Some players have opted to go into the transfer portal, but many of the Seminoles who have met with the media the past few weeks have remarked that their initial conversations with Norvell have been positive.
“He’s a winner,” linebacker Amari Gainer said. “A very high-energy guy. He told me to talk about myself and what I thought about the team. I was completely honest.”
It’s clear that Norvell has prioritized building a coaching staff and recruiting but he has also made time to meet with current players. Boselli met with Norvell on Wednesday, a session that was partly to get acquainted and also for the new coach to ask questions and deliver a message.
“The first half of the meeting, I talked the whole time,” Boselli said. “He just kind of asked a couple questions here and there, to pry at things that he wanted to know more about. But he just let me talk about my experience here, my family life. And then from there, he opened up to any questions I had.”
Boselli has been through quite the career, playing for Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Odell Haggins and, next year, Norvell. And Boselli has also played for offensive line coaches Rick Trickett, Greg Frey and Randy Clements as well as giving up football for a year before returning to the sport and earning a scholarship again.
In Boselli’s career, the only constant has been change. But he felt he had a good conversation with Norvell.
“Pretty honest with him,” Boselli said. “He’s been pretty honest with us. He has my trust.”
Norvell said he has tried to be straightforward with players and recruits. He has told them that the coaches will have to earn the players’ trust.
And Norvell has even taken time to meet with the seniors, players he won’t coach at FSU, but wants to speak with them about their experiences.
“They’re just as important,” Norvell said of the seniors. “All Seminoles are important to me. Any former player, I have a responsibility to — in what we’re doing, how we represent the brand, how we represent the foundation of what they’ve layed. So these guys that are about to play their last game, I respect the crap out of them. I think that they’ve done an incredible job throughout their time here.
“There’s been ups, there’s been downs, there’s been things that they’ve had to work through and respond to, but it’s been great for me to not only hear their perspective on where we are but also to sense their excitement about where we’re going.”