CHARLOTTE – Florida State players are very well aware of the lofty expectations surrounding the program heading into the 2023 season.
The Seminoles have been a popular pick to dethrone Clemson in the ACC, with many calling Mike Norvell’s team a serious threat to make a run to the College Football Playoff.
While at ACC Media Days this week, Seminoles’ players didn’t shy away from those expectations, but at the same time, were mostly modest when discussing the upcoming season. While no players were ready to claim Florida State was back, they were clear about the team’s goals.
“I feel like we’re not back yet, but we are on the right path,” DE Jared Verse said. “We are very close. By the end of the season, we might be able to say Florida State is back. Right now we are just taking the steps to get there.
“Last year we just wanted to be better than 5-7, now it’s like let’s be the best in the country. Let’s win the title. It is definitely a different approach.”
However, to achieve their goals, the Seminoles know they must get by Clemson in Death Valley. A team that has won seven straight in the series.
“Clemson is a good team,” Verse said. “They will capitalize on any mistake that you make. We just can’t make those same mistakes (as last year). We brought in new players who aren’t going to make those mistakes.”
The two teams will do battle on September 23 at Death Valley in a matchup that is expected to have ACC Championship Game implications.
“We’re just going to come in and do what we have to do,” Verse said. “We’re just going to live by our standard and do everything we have to do to come into that game the best prepared.”
Senior LB Kalen DeLoach basically echoed Kearse’s sentiments.
“We just focus on who we are,” DeLoach said. “We know with the way we work, we put our best foot forward and we will be where we need to be. Because we rely on each other. It’s a brotherhood to where we can coach each other up. We understand.”
While DeLoach and the rest of the Seminoles are very much looking forward to the early season matchup with the Tigers, when asked if it was a game the team had circled on the schedule, the veteran had a very direct response.
“Nah, look forward to every game.”
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