Florida State Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Seminoles

FSU will be looking for new faces to help get the Mike Norvell era off to a strong start

Florida State's new head coach will be looking for some new faces to help change the direction of the program.

 

After back-to-back losing seasons, Mike Norvell will look to turn things around in Tallahassee. Norvell takes over for Willie Taggart, who was fired in the middle of last season after posting just a 9-12 record in 21 games.

 

It wasn't great by FSU's standards, but Norvell is bringing in a top-25 recruiting class and a number of fresh faces. Here are five newcomers who could help the Seminoles right away:

 

Stephen Dix Jr., LB

Emmett Rice came on late last season as a bright spot, but in general, the linebacker position hasn't been a good one for Florida State in some time. The Seminoles lose Dontavious Jackson to graduation and DeCalon Brooks to a transfer. There are promising young players at the position such as Jaleel McRae and Kalen DeLoach, but Dix, an early enrollee, has the ability to contribute immediately. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Dix was a top-250 prospect. Dix should be able to push guys like McRae, DeLoach, Rice and Leonard Warner for playing time.

 

Travis Jay, DB

A versatile defensive back, Jay was unable to see the field as a true freshman in 2019, but all issues seem to be resolved. Jay is a hard hitter, who can tackle and cover. Now a redshirt freshman, Jay could find himself in a number of roles for an FSU defense that hasn't lived up to expectations over the past two seasons.

 

Demorie Tate, CB

The highest-ranked member of Florida State's 2020 class, Tate is a big cornerback who is talented enough to contribute right away. The Seminoles will lose Stanford Samuels III and Levonta Taylor, who spent most of last season as a safety. FSU has promising players at the position such as Asante Samuel Jr. and Akeem Dent. Tate however, will help provide depth at a position that has also underwhelmed over the last couple of seasons.

 

Devontay Love-Taylor, OT

The Florida State offensive line has been one of the weakest positions among Power 5 teams over the last three seasons. The Seminoles were able to find some graduate transfer help last season when they brought in Northern Illinois' Ryan Roberts. Roberts started all 13 games for FSU last season and it will be looking for similar results with Love-Taylor, who is transferring from Florida International. Love-Taylor (6-3,280) appeared in all 25 games the last two seasons for the Golden Panthers and was named All-Conference USA honorable mention last season.

 

Lawrance Toafili, RB

Replacing Cam Akers in 2020 will be no small feat for Florida State, but with limited options at running back, Toafili may play a large role in trying to do that. Anthony Grant spent most of last season away from the program and Khalan Laborn has had serious injury issues. It's also unclear whether Texas A&M running back transfer Jashaun Corbin will be eligible this coming season. With all those factors, it's hard not to imagine Toafili getting touches for the Seminoles this season. At 210 pounds, Toafili is a versatile back who can run between the tackles and outrun defenders out on the edge.

 

— Written by Mike Ferguson, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and the editor of The Daily Nole. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook and follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson.

 

(Top photo courtesy of @FSUFootball)

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