Florida State coach Mike Norvell was asked at the end of Monday’s news conference about what he’s telling recruits after his Seminoles’ 0-4 start.
He ended up sending a passionate four-and-a-half minute message to the entire program — players, coaches, recruits and fans.
“Look, I’m pissed off that we’re 0-4…” Norvell said. “We’re going to work our butts off to go get better, and we’re going to do it the right way, and we’re going to have a standard of how we operate.”
Judging by FSU’s worst start since 1974, Norvell’s Seminoles are not living up to that standard.
He did not make excuses or look for moral victories with how his team rallied from a 24-point deficit in last week’s 31-23 loss to Louisville. He called the result “a failure.”
Norvell cited the program’s recent changes — three coaches in the past five years — as an issue that affects everything from personnel to recruiting to day-to-day operations. Norvell said FSU is still in the process of “setting the foundation” the right way in his second season.
Beyond that, he said his staff needs to keep improving on its bedrock principles, like fundamentals and putting players in position to succeed.
“We’ve got to go out there and do a better job in every one of those areas,” Norvell said. “But I’m looking for guys that want to be a part of that process, too…
“They’re going to have to defend — why (FSU)? Because it’s the best dang fit for them.”
FSU’s recruiting continues to be one of Norvell’s biggest selling points in the 3-10 start to his tenure. The Seminoles’ 2022 class is ranked 10th nationally, and he has four early commits in a 2023 class ranked fifth. Norvell said those prospects watch the games, so they see the opportunities they’ll have if they sign with FSU.
While defending his program and approach, Norvell said he’s been around other programs that have had losing streaks, too, but rebounded. His 2018 Memphis team started 4-4 and lost back-to-back games (a 31-30 defeat to UCF and a blowout loss to Missouri) before advancing to the AAC title game.
Norvell said the successful teams know how to respond to struggles by blocking out distractions and focusing on improvement. The same approach applies to recruits, too.
“It’s easy to point to (problems), but who wants to be a part of the solution?” Norvell said. “Those are the guys we’re going after.”
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