‘Sharing the Vision': FSU Coach Brings Youth Camps in South Florida, Aims for Some Success in 2021

Mike Norvell and his staff were in South Florida for three days of camps last weekend to start a youth camp tour spanning the state of Florida

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On a hot Saturday morning in May, the football field inside Tropical Park wasn't colored the green and orange of the University of Miami - which sits just four miles away.

Instead, it was the two colors many fans of the 'Canes loathe - the garnet and gold of the Florida State University Seminoles - that took over the Southwest Miami-Dade park.

Head football coach Mike Norvell and his staff were in South Florida for three days of camps last weekend (one each in Palm Beach and Broward counties and two on Saturday in Miami-Dade) to start a youth camp tour spanning the state of Florida.

Over 50 kids showed up to the camp on Saturday morning alone, some with parents in garnet and gold and even a few who threw up 'The U' and said they can't root for the 'Noles.

"We're a UM family, but it's love with FSU coming down here," said one father named Frank, who brought his seventh grade son to the event. "It's good for the kids. They might get my son to go to FSU."

For the second year coach, it was the smart move to start the camps in an area that has been good to the Seminoles before.

"This is a great place, great history for Florida State here in South Florida," Norvell said in an interview with NBC 6. "We’re giving them an opportunity to come out and play the game that they love, learn some fundamental things and really just enhance and continue the Seminole way.”

'The Seminole way' was not one that many in the FSU fan base were bragging about after last season.

A 2020 campaign included finishing with a 3-6 record, FSU's worst since the 1975 season, and Norvell missing the annual rivalry game with Miami. The 'Noles didn't seem to show up in the game either, suffering its worst loss to the 'Canes since 1976.

FSU opens its season at home against Notre Dame and later travels to Clemson (both teams that made last year's College Football Playoff) along with rivals Miami and Florida. Norvell knows that looking back on what took place last season won't do any good for the Seminoles.

"All the investment that’s gone into it (the 2021 season), we can’t stop it now. You’ve got to continue to build, continue to push. You have that focus of improving one percent every single day," he said.

One of Norvell's newest additions to the coaching staff was very familiar in the 305 - former Miami Hurricanes player, assistant coach and head coach Randy Shannon.

Shannon, who also spent time as an assistant coach and interim head coach with the Florida Gators, will spend the 2021 season as a senior defensive analyst with the 'Noles.

"Being with Coach Norvell and his staff, great people and a great coach," Shannon told NBC 6. "It’s all about the people and having a chance to do something special, change everything around that Florida State has and getting us back to the winning ways.”

The one time leader of the 'Canes, who battled it out with former FSU head coaches Bobby Bowden and Jimbo Fisher for recruits across South Florida, knows the key to getting the 'Noles back in the national title picture is recruiting an area that has given the program some of its top names.

"It’s huge for us to get Florida State back in the South Florida region. Down here, you have some great opportunities to recruit some great young men. Smart, unbelievable talent but most importantly they’re all great people," Shannon said.

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