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Florida State Seminoles

Lots of eyes will be focused on FSU’s Derwin James

Florida Football Insiders

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Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

Lofty expectations are nothing new in Tallahassee, the Noles have five double digit win seasons in a row and have been churning NFL talent out during this time span. With the much anticipated opening game vs Alabama to start the year the Seminoles will have all eyes on them.

And, with several changes on the team, including losing Dalvin Cook and Demarcus Walker to name a couple, the Noles get a big addition and not in the form of a recruit or transfer.

Derwin James will return to patrolling the back end of the defense. As a freshman James recorded 91 total tackles 9.5 of those coming for a loss to go along with 4.5 sacks. In Big games he also delivered as a freshman with nine tackles at Clemson, 9 at Florida, and 14 in the Chick-Fil-A bowl vs Houston.

Coming into his Sophomore Year everyone was expecting even more after such a great ending to his first season. He started the year off with a huge game vs Ole Miss with eight tackles and his first career pick as FSU rallied in the second half to win their opener. Unfortunately, he would only play a half of game the rest of the season due a knee injury suffered in game two with Charleston Southern.

The defense missed his presence to in a rough beat down at Louisville and two gut wrenching losses to North Carolina and Clemson. But what’s scary is James used the time to better understand coaching and schemes from the sidelines.

Now, with James back at safety leading them, the Seminoles defensive puzzle could be complete, again as they look at get back to the playoffs after a two year absence.

On Wednesday, NFL.com came out with a ranking of what they believe are the top defensive players in college football for 2017. Guess who’s #1 on that list?

 

Clearly, FSU has lofty expectations, looking to reclaim the ACC crown. They start the season with the Tide and also hope to end the season in Atlanta in the College Football Playoff Title Game.

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Florida State Seminoles

FSU released Mike Norvell’s assistant coach’s salary info

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

New FSU coach Mike Norvell is full speed ahead in every aspect of his program, including finalizing his coaching staff. And, he and the athletic department are making sure that his coaches are more than competitively compensated for his first season.

The Tallahassee Democrat obtained coaching salary information for seven of the eight assistants that Norvell has agreed with. According to their reporting, seven coaches have signed a “letter of understanding” in lieu of later actual contract and it details their compensation amounts:

First, Norvell agreed to a six year deal in December to take over in Tallahassee and it will average just over $4.4 million over the life of the deal. He also received an assistant pool from the school of $5.25 million.

On the breakdown, Norvell’s highest paid assistant will be defensive coordinator, Adam Fuller, who is slated to make $800,000 this season after coming to the Noles with Norvell from Memphis

Norvell will pay FSU’s new offensive coordinator, Kenny Dillingham, who was at Auburn a year ago, but was previously the offensive coordinator at Memphis with Norvell before that, $625,000. And, special teams coordinator John Papuchis will earn $550,000 this season.

The paper also learn the three other position coaches are also going to be making half a million dollars each. Interestingly, defensive line coach Odell Haggins has an existing salary a $482,000 and is being retained by Norvell. One would have to believe with the job that Haggins did, once again as the interim head coach for the final three games of the season and FSU’s bowl game, if you’ll receive some type of raise.

Receivers Coach Ron Dugans was also retained by Norvell and his compensation is slated to be $450,000 for this season, unless Norvell, chooses to give him as raise, too.

The only salary exception is defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson, who has been reportedly hired this past week, but not officially announced by the school. And, FSU obviously does not have a letter of understanding with Woodson, like the others do.

Norvell has taken over the Seminoles after leading the Memphis Tigers to their most successful season in their history at 12 – 1, including an American Conference Championship game win over Cincinnati. That earned them a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

Norvell did not return to coach that game is Penn State defeated them on New Year’s Day.

His previous salary was  just over $2.5 million with incentives at Memphis.

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Florida State Seminoles

ACC releases FSU and Miami dates for 2020 opponents

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlantic Coast Conference released their conference schedule for 2020 on Wednesday morning, and we now know the opponents and the order of conference games for the Seminoles and the Hurricanes.

First, for Miami. They already knew that they were opening the pre-conference schedule with Temple at home on Saturday, September 5th, and there toughest early test will likely be at Michigan State three Saturdays later.

Now, the ACC revealed the Canes will begin the conference season on October 3rd with a game at Hard Rock stadium against Pitt.

Miami will play their only non-Saturday ACC game six days later on a Friday night in Winston-Salem, NC, against Wake Forest.

Miami also has home games with North Carolina and then the Seminoles, which comes on November 7th. The Hurricanes will also play at Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech before finishing the season on Saturday November 28th back at home vs. Duke.

As for the Seminoles, they come off of a loaded pre-conference season where they are playing West Virginia in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend Saturday September 5th. And, they are playing at Boise State in the return game for last year’s upset loss on September 19th in Idaho.

FSU learned Wednesday, that they will open at NC State on Saturday October 3rd. The Noles and first year coach Mike Norvell, then get four time defending champion Clemson, as their second ACC opponent the following week in Tallahassee.

Then, they also host Wake Forest on October 17th. FSU’s remaining road games are at Louisville, Miami and Syracuse. The game against the Orange will be on Thursday night November 19th.

Florida State’s final ACC home game will be with Boston College on the previous Saturday, November 14th.

As part of the ACC schedule release, UCF learned that they will be playing Friday night September 4th in their home opener with North Carolina. That game to be televised nationally by ESPN.

The Knights already knew that they would be playing Georgia Tech in the pre-conference schedule on September 19th in Atlanta.

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