Mike Norvell's Offers Reflect Tight End Role in His Offense
It's been a busy last few days for Florida State tight end recruiting, as just the other day the Seminoles made the top 10 for a 2021 prospect, while yesterday saw them extend an offer to a 2022 recruit. But this is nothing new for new head coach Mike Norvell. In his first full year recruiting with the 'Noles, Norvell has now extended 17 offers out to 2021 TEs-- and we're only about halfway through the cycle. That's as many tight end offers as FSU extended to the 2020 and 2019 classes combined.
And that's for a couple reasons. First, Florida State doesn't exactly boast a bunch of experience at the position. Austin White is a walk on, Carter Boatwright and Markeston Douglas are true freshmen, Wyatt Rector is a transfer who'd been a quarterback at Western Michigan, Camren McDonald has six career receptions, and Jordan Wilson is the newest addition and elder statesman after transferring in from UCLA, with 25 catches over three seasons in Los Angeles.
That's it. That's the entirety of the scholarship players in FSU's tight end room. So yes, Norvell does need more talent at the position. His rosters at Memphis averaged eight TEs, and for good reason: the position is integral to his offense.
Norvell likes tight ends who are athletic and adept pass catchers, which makes linebackers play a little farther off out of respect in case they run a route. This then opens up the running game, as the TE and get to the second level to block and already be at an advantage, downfield ahead of the running back.
That explains a lot about the tight ends Norvell is bringing in and targeting. Tall tight ends are matchup nightmares, and they also provide massive catch radii for quarterbacks. From 2017-2019, Norvell had at least one 6'7 tight end on his Memphis rosters. The tallest TE on the FSU roster after the 2020 class signed was 6'4, so his decision to court the former Bruin, Wilson (6'5), makes sense.
As do those prospects alluded to in the introduction. At 6'7, Mitch Evans, who just named FSU to his top 10, is the country's tallest ranked tight end. He's a versatile athlete, as is 2022's Marlin Klein (6'6), who boasts a 4.4 40 and just got his Florida State offer. Aside from Evans, the Seminoles' other 2021 tight end offers include five to 6'6 players and two more to 6'5 recruits. We'll have to see how many players Norvell wants to take at the position for '21, as he already has commitments from 6'4 Jackson West and 6'3 Koby Gross.