NCAA Football

‘Unfinished business’: Jordan Travis and Florida State aim for national championship in 2023 | Student football

‘Unfinished business’: Jordan Travis and Florida State aim for national championship in 2023 | Student football

For the first time in what seems like a long time ago, there is palpable excitement all around State of Florida football. The Seminoles are coming off their first 10-win season since 2016 and their first winning record in five years. With a super-talented lineup back, FSU is in first place fourth in PFF too soon top 25 for the 2023 college football season.

When everyone’s talking about the future of Florida State, it’s probably the star quarterback Jordan Travis is that true too?

“Honestly, the only thing I’m excited about is the workout I have after this interview,” Travis said in an exclusive interview with PFF.

The redshirt junior is taking things one day at a time, and that’s probably the only way he could survive the roller coaster he and the Seminoles have been on.

Travis originally did not receive an offer from Florida State as a three-star recruit out of North Palm Beach, Florida. Spent one season as a backup Louisville before moving to Tallahassee in 2019.

“Florida State has always been my dream school,” Travis said. “I’ve always been a fan through and through since my brother went there. It was an easy decision for me.”

His older brother, Devon, was a star second baseman for the Seminoles before playing four years with the Toronto Blue Jays. He is now a coach in the Atlanta Braves organization. Unlike his brother, Jordan knew that a career on the diamond was not for him.

“The last time I played baseball, I got hit in the head pretty good,” he said. “It was kind of like that for me. I left baseball for my brother.”

‘Unfinished business’: Jordan Travis and Florida State aim for national championship in 2023 |  Student football
(Jordan Travis and his older brother Devon during a Florida State baseball game / Devon Travis/Twitter)

Florida State has always been Travis’ dream school, but his tenure got off to a rocky start. The Seminoles had four consecutive losing seasons from 2018-2021, the first time that had happened since 1973-76. During that time, he has survived three head coaches. When asked about the stretch, Travis was as blunt as he could be.

“Losing sucks.”

However, he began to see the light at the end of the tunnel when he was hired by Florida State Memphis coach Mike Norvell will lead the program in 2020.

“I loved him from the first day he got here,” Travis said. “He came and earned our respect. He never asked for it, he earned it. Coach Norvell is the best decision Florida State could have made. We trusted him and knew that everything would work out.”

It really started to pay off this season, especially in the Seminoles’ second game. Unranked Florida State defeated the eventual SEC West champion LDU, 24-23, in one of the best games of the season.

“In the middle of that LSU game, I realized we had the potential to be special,” Travis said. “We showed a lot of toughness in this game, never giving up.”

Travis himself showed some guts late in the third quarter. He took a hit from the Tigers fullback. Ali Gaye and still threw a 35-yard gem in the Ontario Wilson for landing. Haye was also sent off for a tackle.

While the gruesome hit ended his baseball career, it proved to Travis that he could make it on the gridiron.

“I love it,” Travis said before pausing to laugh at the absurdity of the statement. “Okay, I’m not going to say I like getting hit, but it was a big moment for me. Knowing that I can take the hit, stay in the pocket and make the throw. A lot of people said I couldn’t do it. I proved myself right in this play.”

After the game, Travis tried to show that there was no grudge between him and Gaye.

Florida State finished the 2022 season with a 10-3 record and was ranked No. 11 in the final AP poll. Among Power Five quarterbacks, Travis was the only top-10 finisher in sack rate (7.1%) and turnover rate (1.9%). His 91.7 grade was also the highest among Power Five signal-callers, ahead of all four Heisman finalists.

Jordan Travis’ PFF Grade Compared to 2022 Heisman Finalists

“I’ve always been under the radar,” Travis said. “Look, I wish I was where those guys were. But not because of the Heisman ceremony. Because three of them played in the college football playoffs.”

Those playoff aspirations could come true next season. Many Seminole stars, including Travis, rejected it 2023 NFL Draft to run it back to Tallahassee.

“We all felt like we had unfinished business,” Travis said. “I came to Florida State to turn this program around, and I feel like we’re really starting to do that. This is the year for us to put it all together.”

In addition to Travis, here are some of the key Seminoles returning in 2023:

One thing that Travis and these three have in common is that they all moved to the state of Florida. The Seminoles dominated the transfer portal again this year with three big names joining the program.

“They’re going to have a big impact,” Travis said of the incoming transfers. “This is 1,000% one of the best all-around rosters in college football next season.”

Despite not finishing in the top 10 of Heisman voting last season, Travis is already a top five candidate for the award next season, according to most odds. The state of Florida itself has already launched a site for Travis’ 2023 Heisman campaign.

“It’s a blessing to be talked about an award of this magnitude,” Travis said. “But then again, I came here to win a national championship. I didn’t come here to win the Heisman.”

Still, if Travis plays as well as he did last season and the Seminoles use his talent in the College Football Playoff, it’s hard to imagine him no taking home the Heisman Trophy. It also doesn’t hurt that Travis is one of the most electric ringers in the country.

While it’s easy to get caught up in all this preseason hype, Travis has learned to tune it all out.

“Last year we were talked about as one of the worst teams in the ACC,” Travis said. “Now we are one of the favorites. We didn’t listen to the noise then. So why do we need it now?”

The last Heisman winner was Florida State Jameis Winston in 2013. That was also the year of the Seminoles’ last national championship. While Travis is solely focused on the latter, don’t be surprised if both happen next season.

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