Florida State Players Say Mike Norvell Did Not Talk To Every Player One-On-One, Disputing His Claims

Mike Norvell of the Memphis Tigers applauds his team in the first quarter of the Birmingham Bowl against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Joe Robbins / Getty Images

A rift reportedly opened up between new Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell and some of his players on Thursday morning. Star defensive lineman Marvin Wilson took to Twitter to dispute a report claiming Norvell talked to every single one of the Florida State players about the protests going on around the country following the death of George Floyd.

“Man this [poop emoji] did not happen mane. We got a generated text that was sent to everybody. There was no one on one talk between us and coach. This is a lie and me and my teammates as a whole are outraged and we will not be working out until further notice.”

Mark Schlabach of ESPN reported that Norvell gave an interview earlier in the week to The Athletic in which he claimed he had a “lot of open communication” with the Florida State players. Norvell added that it was very important to him to have those conversations because of what was going on in the country.

Not long after Wilson and several other players went to the media to dispute Norvell’s claims, sources at Florida State told Schlabach that a team meeting was scheduled for later in the day on Thursday. FSU defensive end Jamarcus Chatman, offensive lineman Darius Washington and cornerback Isaiah Bolden all shared Wilson’s tweet. It wasn’t just members of Norvell’s team that shared the original tweet. Clemson defensive end Xavier Thomas and Duke defensive end Drew Jordan also reportedly retweeted the post saying Norvell wasn’t being honest about what happened.

Florida State players returned to campus on Monday in preparation for the beginning of practices. Those practices are set to make up for “spring practices” that were canceled around the country after the coronavirus pandemic spread across the United States.

Norvell has yet to officially coach the Florida State players, as he was hired by the school in December 2019. He’d previously been the head coach for the Memphis Tigers for the last four seasons. While with the Tigers, he posted a record of 38-15, including a 12-1 record in 2019.

Wilson is a defensive tackle who is entering his senior season. Last year, he posted 44 tackles, five sacks and four passes defended. Those numbers were registered in just nine games because a hand injury shortened his season. That was a follow up to his sophomore year, in which he had 42 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

Wilson is the No. 9 prospect overall and No. 1 defensive tackle on ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s 2021 Big Board.