Florida State faces elevated expectations in 2023 after breaking through for a 10-win season under coach Mike Norvell in 2022. Much of how the Seminoles fare in meeting those expectations this season rests in the hands of star quarterback Jordan Travis, the FSU signal-caller who's found himself in the preseason Heisman Trophy discussion after throwing for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2022 while completing 64% of his passes.
The spotlight isn't lost on Travis, but he's counting on his supporting cast to also make its mark as FSU seeks its first ACC championship since the 2014 season. From the work ethic he's seen through spring football and summer workouts, Travis can envision a special season unfolding if the current level of confidence is maintained.
"Confidence is the main thing for this football team," Travis told ACC Network Wednesday at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina. "If we are confident, we are going to be special [this season]. Confidence comes from the work, and that is what Coach Norvell preaches all the time. But the feeling this year feels very different from last year. I was very happy with last year. It's going to be fun."
Travis won't lack options as far as targets are concerned, a group headlined by Johnny Wilson, who returns after leading the team with 897 receiving yards a year ago. There are also prominent returners on the defensive side of the ball, including defensive end Jared Verse, who recorded 47 tackles in 2022 with nine sacks.
As for Norvell, he knows what he'll be getting in Travis, and it's not just his athletic talent. Norvell said the personality and leadership qualities Travis has brought to the locker room reflect everything he wants to see in an FSU football player.
"You sit there and watch all the things he can do on the field, whether it be his accuracy, the way he throws the football vertically down the field or the decisions he makes," Norvell said. "The Lord has blessed him with some great talent in being evasive and extending plays. But it's his heart [that stands out]. The heart he has and how much he cares about his teammates -- he has a humble spirit. And he shows up to work to make others better. When you have that trait at quarterback, he is what I want Florida State to look like. ... He's a special person."
How Travis fares once the 2023 season kicks off Sunday, Sept. 3 against LSU will certainly shape the quarterback's legacy in Tallahassee, Florida. For Travis, he wants that to be defined not just by how he conducts himself on the field but also off the field.
"I love my coaches, I love my team, and I love the university," Travis continued on the ACC Network set. "I want to have a legacy of being a hard worker and a great person who always treats everyone right. And I want to be a winner. That's one of the main things for me. You have to go in and win the game. Our job as players is to help the team win, and I want to be remembered as one."