La’Damian Webb’s decision to opt out appears to be an option to transfer.
The Florida State tailback has now entered the transfer portal, according to a reports by AL.com. His status in the portal was later confirmed by an FSU spokesperson to The Osceola.
Webb ran 69 times for 369 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He opted out for the remainder of the season prior to FSU’s rescheduled games vs. Duke and Wake Forest. Webb announced later in the day he was transferring to Troy.
FSU coach Mike Norvell said on Dec. 2 that “we are expecting him back in January” for 2021 season but that scenario has changed for unspecified reasons.
While Webb’s decision removes a big piece of the offense for 2021, the Seminoles will return a veteran tailback in Jashaun Corbin (81 rushers, 401 yards, five TDs) as well as a newcomer in Lawrance Toafili (37 rushes, 356 yards, two TDs). Both have been effective runners and consistent pass-catchers out of the backfield — Corbin has nine receptions for 115 yards, while Toafili has 12 receptions for 120 yards.
Update on Lovett
Defensive tackle Fabien Lovett laid on the ground for a few minutes with an undisclosed injury in Saturday’s game. He was able to walk off the field with the help of FSU’s training staff.
“It’s one of those things that I think Jake (Pfeil) and the athletic training staff, as well as doctors, did a wonderful job as far as taking all the precautions,” Norvell said. “Fabien is progressing along really well. Excited about where he is right now. We’ll still continue to evaluate that as it progresses through the week as to his availability. But very grateful that he’s doing well and can say that he has an opportunity to help contribute this week.”
Norvell was asked on Monday about receivers Jordan Young and Warren Thompson, neither of which played in Saturday’s game, and said they were “unavailable.”
“We’re hopeful that Jordan will progress along as we get going this week,” Norvell said. “I know he did more yesterday (Sunday) than what he has so we’ll see where that’s at.”
Norvell did not comment on Thompson’s status.
Defensive back of the week
Senior safety Hamsah Nasirildeen had nine tackles and an interception in FSU’s win over Duke, his second game back following knee surgery in December 2019. Nasirildeen was named the ACC’s defensive back of the week for a fourth time in his career.
FSU in a bowl?
FSU is 3-6 and could be playing its last game of the season on Saturday at Wake Forest. There is a chance the Seminoles will be playing in a bowl game but until Sunday, when the bowls are announced, nothing is official.
The door is open of late with decisions by Boston College, Pittsburgh and Virginia, who opted not to play in a bowl. Among the reasons those schools cited were a desire to wrap up the year and allow players to go home for the holidays.
“Our focus right now is on this week,” Norvell said. “We’re trying to take everything one day at a time, this football team and our growth.”
FSU coaches have asked the players not to go home during bye weeks and have tried to keep them on campus since they returned in June or July. That could be among the factors as a decision is made whether FSU will play in a bowl. The number of bowl games with ACC tie-ins are also decreasing.
Early signing day approaching
Norvell will speak with the media on Wednesday at 3 p.m. on those who sign as part of the early signing period, which extends through Friday. All schools have a cap of 25 annual scholarships for high school prospects, junior college transfers, transfers or grad transfers.
“Just trying to put together the best fit for the needs that we have now and then also for what we’re building here in the future,” Norvell said. “That’s kind of how all that’s going to work together.”
While Norvell didn’t speak about a specific player, it’s clear that a current walk-on or those coming in for 2021 could eventually be in line for a scholarship. Norvell was a walk-on receiver at Central Arkansas before earning scholarship money in the middle of his career, so a walk-on program is a critical component for his vision of FSU’s program.
“The thing I’m excited about is you’re seeing the development of our walk-on program and guys that have come in as walk-ons that will have an opportunity to after a year to be able to earn scholarships, earn that reward for the jobs that they’ve done,” Norvell said. “After a year, those don’t count to your 25. Obviously, it all has to stay within your 85, but those are just some of the different factors. We’ll continue to always explore to find the best potential walk-ons that can impact our program that we’re gonna help continue to build here moving forward.”
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