Possible cornerback coach candidates for FSU

Florida State is embarking on his fourth coaching change in as many offseasons under Mike Norvell as the Seminoles will look to replace defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson. Woodson is expected to take a similar position Arkansas.

Coincidentally, Woodson was hired by FSU to replace the first departure under Norvell: TJ Rushing. This happened about a month into Norvell’s tenure as Rushing, who followed Norvell and defensive coordinator Adam Fuller from Memphisabruptly left for a similar position at Texas A&M. Woodson previously worked with Norvell at Memphis, so there was a connection, although the on-field results at cornerback have been up and down over Woodson’s three seasons at FSU.

The previous hires at FSU under Norvell have all involved coaches from his tree to some extent or another (Woodson to replace Rushing, Alex Atkins/Tony Tokarz were promoted from within to replace OC/QB coach Kenny Dillinghamand Randy Shannon was also promoted internally to replace LB coach Chris Marve). Will the replacement for Woodson involve someone with ties to FSU’s current staff? Or will names from off the radar emerge?

Here’s our initial list of coaches who could make sense, to some extent or another, to be FSU’s next cornerbacks coach.

TJ Rushing, Defensive Backs Coach, Texas A&M: Rushing has already been hired by FSU, so the paperwork would be easy enough…right? In all seriousness Rushing is qualified to coach at this level, has familiarity with FSU’s coaches (DB coach/Pass Game Coordinator at Memphis in 2018), and has been involved in some big-time recruitments (ie Denver Harris). It’s worth noting that some of his younger players didn’t pan out this season (Harris and Smoke Bouie both entered the portal), but that A&M culture doesn’t seem great overall. Hence, maybe Rushing is looking for a reset. It’s a move that could make sense for both sides.

Chip West, Cornerbacks Coach, Syracuse: The Orange have done a remarkable job developing cornerbacks the last few seasons under West, who’s been in his current role since 2020. Multiple All-ACC selections, the development of NFL-caliber players…West is qualified. The Virginia native recruits Virginia (an area FSU wants to divert more energy towards moving forward) and south Atlanta (an area FSU already values) for the Orange. He was on-staff with Alex Atkins at Charlotte in 2018.

Mike Treier, Assistant Defensive Backs Coach, New York Giants: Treier worked at Marshall with Fuller and actually was brought on FSU’s staff in an off-field capacity with the chance to be promoted (kind of in the Tokarz mold). But he left for the NFL shortly afterwards. Treier was Marshall’s cornerbacks coach from 2017-18 and the safeties coach/Recruiting Coordinator in 2019.

Tre’ Bell, Cornerbacks Coach, Akron: Considered an up-and-comer in the industry. Bell was an off-field coach for a couple of seasons at FSU before taking over his own room at Akron. There’s a lot of upside here, but not a ton of experience right now.

Greg Moss, Defensive Analyst, FSU: There are several off-field types with experience coaching DBs/playing DB. Moss is probably the most qualified among them, however. He was the DB coach for three seasons Charleston Southern before joining FSU, and was also a secondary coach at FIU from 2015-16. He also has experience coaching schools in Broward and Dade counties, so the South Florida connections are worth noting. Keiwan Ratliff and Corey Fuller are on-staff and have experience playing DB in the NFL, but neither have coached corners at the college level. Their names are certainly worth noting. Ratliff has ties to Orlando and could be a strong recruiter. Fuller’s leadership skills and familiarity with the Big Bend area are also intriguing.

Torrian Gray, Defensive Backs Coach, South Carolina: This name makes sense on multiple levels. He has coaching experience in the SEC (UF and SC), the NFL, and played in the NFL. He’s from Lakeland, Fla. and has been involved with blue-chip recruitment throughout the southeast and beyond. He has ties to Florida, Texas and the DMV area (soon to be coveted by FSU again). He’s qualified, experienced and has coached/developed a number of future NFL defenders Brandon Flowers, Kam ChancellorKyle Fuller and Kendall Fuller, Teez Tabor, Marcus Maye, Quincy Wilson, Duke Dawson and CJ Henderson. This is a name to follow.

Demarcus Van Dyke, Defensive Analyst, Miami: The Miami Gardens native played at Miami and then in the NFL for six seasons before transitioning into coaching. He was an off-field coach for a few years, moved to cornerbacks coach in 2021, then returned to an off-field role as an analyst after a coaching change. He’s been involved in some big-time recruitments (primary on Cormani McClainsecondary on Damari Brown and Wesley Bissainthe). He played under Randy Shannon while at Miami.

Rod Chance, formerly of Colorado: Chance has been an assistant coach at Colorado, Oregon (multiple stints) and Minnesota. The native of Fort Lauderdale was a standout at powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas. He has recruiting connections in Florida and California.

Darcel McBathCornerbacks Coach, Mississippi State: A Texas native with experience recruiting in different states within the Southeast, McBath has five seasons coaching corners at the P5 level (two at Washington State, three at Mississippi State. He’s done a really nice job developing corners in the SEC, with his most notable prospect to date being Martin Emerson.

– Other P5 names worth mentioning are Travis Fisher (Nebraska defensive backs coach), Chris Collins (Kentucky defensive backs coach) Anthony Poindexter (Penn State safety coach) Steve Clinkscale (Michigan defensive backs coach), and Nick Monroe (Syracuse safety coach).

Antonio Cromartie, formerly a GA at Texas A&M: The former FSU standout and All-Pro corner did get some coaching experience at the college level as a GA. He’s a Tallahassee native. This is a name that could get more traction than you’d expect as we anticipate Cromartie to get a legitimate look.

Terrell Buckley, Head Coach, Orlando Guardians (XFL): Buckley is an FSU legend, an accomplished pro player and a proven cornerbacks coach at the P5 level (with jobs at both Mississippi schools and Louisville). He cut his coaching teeth at FSU as an off-field assistant.

Shiel Wood (defensive coordinator, Troy), Keynodo Hudson (secondary coach, Western Kentucky), Steve Ellis (cornerbacks coach, ECU), Jarred Holley (cornerbacks coach, UNT), Paul Turner (safeties coach, Louisiana Tech)

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