Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse announced he would return to the Seminoles program in 2023 rather than leave early for the NFL draft.
Verse announced his decision in a 33-second video on social media Saturday morning, stating, “We’re not done yet. We’ll see you in 2023.”
The 6-foot-4, 248-pounder earned a spot on the All-ACC first-team after finishing second in the league in sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (16.5). He led the team in pressures (36), totaling 47 tackles, 3 quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick.
His performance has many projecting him as a first- or second-round pick in the NFL draft.
Verse’s decision means he could pass up a multi-million payday from the NFL.
It’s remarkable when you consider Verse wasn’t heavily recruited out of Central Columbia High, signing with Albany University, where he appeared in 15 games over the first two seasons. Before signing with Florida State last January, he was one of the more sought-after prospects in the transfer portal.
When asked about a timetable for a possible decision during preparations for the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 26, Verse credited his mother, Janniene, for her organizational skills in helping make that process easier.
“My mom knows more than me,” said Verse. “It’s good to sit down with my family, look at everything, and lay it out.
“I have been very communicative with the coaches and the staff working around me, and they have been very helpful in giving me the information I need. But, it is just whenever I feel right about it, probably a week or two afterward, after the bowl game.”
The redshirt sophomore had 6 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 tackles for loss in FSU’s 35-32 win over Oklahoma in the bowl game.
Verse was asked after the game what this season meant to him.
“I am grateful for Coach [Mike] Norvell. He has not lied to me once,” he said. “He sat down with me and told me he would give me his best, and he has not stopped since then. Like all today, and the first day since I got here, he has given me his best. I have tried my hardest to give him the same in return. This is the best decision I have made in my life.”
Norvell recalled the first conversation he had with Verse when recruiting him to come to Florida State.
“When he made the decision to come to Florida State, I remember on that phone call, and I am not too proud to say, I was emotional at that moment because it was real,” said Norvell. “There was no bullcrap about it, and it was about somebody that went through the process and said, ‘Look, I need to find the best fit where I can grow and grow in every way.
“He is just scratching the surface for where he can go. This young man has a special future in front of him because the good Lord blessed him with great ability, but he has an unbelievable mind and an unbelievable heart. It will be fun to watch him continue to grow to what I know that potential is.”
The Seminoles will have their leading passer (Jordan Travis), leading rusher (Trey Benson), leading receiver (Johnny Wilson) and leading pass rusher (Verse) returning in 2023.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.