Mike Norvell talks recruiting against Deion Sanders as Florida State legend eyes elite talent in Florida
Deion Sanders is no stranger to the state of Florida. A freshman coach for the Colorado Buffalos, he worked in the state of Florida from 1985 to 1988 and then went on to have a distinguished career as a defenseman and defender in the NFL. Now Sanders, a top Power Five head coach, is recruiting the nation’s top athletes to his alma mater in the Sunshine State.
Sanders, a Fort Myers, Florida native, has signed three high school prospects and four transfer players. during the 2023 recruiting cycle.. Most notably, last year at Jackson State, he signed with 2022 number one prospect Travis Hunter, not the Seminoles. Hunter has since followed Sanders to Boulder after Sanders accepted a position in Colorado.
To put it simply, current Florida State coach Mike Norvell is in direct competition with the Florida State legend for local players, despite Coach Prime recruiting far beyond the Rocky Mountain region. It attracted 11 high school applicants during the 2023 recruitment cycle and another transfer from the University of Miami.
Norvell appeared on the All Things Covered podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden and said he thinks his commercial proposal resonates with local talent.
“We know this is one school with one coach trying to get to Florida and get the best we have,” Norvell said. “One of the things that I’m really proud and admire is the type of players that we can keep in that condition. This received a lot of attention last year. I thought we were doing a great job with the guys we were able to keep at home and obviously the guys we were able to get into the program.”
Six of the eight Florida state commits in the class of 2024 are state-specific, while none of the five Sanders commits in the 2024 cycle are state-related.
“When you look at these future classes, you see just incredible excitement about what we are doing, and the guys want to represent this university,” said Norvell. “They want to be here. When you come to school in Florida, it’s an all-inclusive university experience where you can really get it all. Our guys are getting this experience and you can feel this energy in the former Soviet Union.”
Norvell does not view the competition as “Florida vs. Legend”. He’s confident he can sign the players he wants just by being himself.
“We’re going to be who we are,” Norvell said. “Obviously we’re really excited about what we’re doing, who we’ve been able to bring in and finding guys who fit our program and accept the way we do things. This is what was special. You see culture. You feel it. The way our guys play. Our playmakers. How do we show them. This is a special place.”
The two coaches are vying on the recruiting path, but Norvell is thrilled that Sanders – a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame – has forged his own path to become a coach in the Power Five program. .
“Prime has obviously had a great career and has been very successful in the coaching profession,” Norvell said. “As a Florida State Seminole, we’re excited for him, for his career, and for where he’s headed in the coaching world.”
Buckle up. The rivalry between Florida State and Coach Prime has already heated up and looks set to continue for a long time to come.