Mike Norvell gushes over Tate Rodemaker's toughness, preparation

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison11/27/23


Florida State Seminoles BEAT Florida!

Following star quarterback Jordan Travis going down with a devastating injury, Florida State head coach Mike Norvell turned to backup Tate Rodemaker to lead the Seminoles against the Florida Gators and moving forward as Florida State makes a push for the College Football Playoff.

Upon reflecting on Rodemaker’s performance against Florida, Norvell praised him for his toughness, both mentally and physically.

“We have a tough football team and Tate, it’s a challenging place to go and get your first start of the year, and I know that things didn’t start off great for us and we had some adversity that presented itself,” Mike Norvell said. “But I think he displayed his mental and physical toughness yesterday. I mean, the two-minute drive to go get the touchdown right before half, to be able to come out in the second half and open up the first series with a score, and then just the different plays that had to show up there to put us in a position to have a chance to win, he just continued to answer the call.”

During one play, in particular, it seemed like Tate Rodemaker was going to be knocked out of the game by a late hit to his head. However, he quickly returned to the game, showing his toughness late in the game.

“The late hit, it’s tough to see any player get hit like that. When I went out and got a chance to see him, he was telling me he was okay. It obviously rattled him a little bit, but he said he was okay and we just wanted to make sure that we checked him out. Came over to the sideline and whenever we had the next break, when they called their timeout, he came up and said he was good to go. So, came in and even on that play, basically double called a sequence and he got us in the right play that resulted in a touchdown.”

Tate Rodemaker came to Florida State as a three-star recruit in the Class of 2020, according to the On3 Industry Rankings. He’s acted as Jordan Travis’ backup since, playing in 23 games completing 57.6 percent of his passes in those games for 901 yards and seven touchdowns.

Amid all that time as a backup, Norvell praised Rodemaker for sticking around and being ready in a tough situation.

“As you come into a season, when you’re somebody who has experience and years under your belt like Tate does, he’s been through it, and I think as much as anything, the choice to be willing to fight, to be willing to compete to be ready when his number has been called is something that — it’s hard. Especially in today’s age of college athletics, it’s pretty easy to be able to go somewhere else and he’s made the choice to be in this situation, to prepare, to get better, and I’m just so proud of him for what he’s done and the times that he’s been able to get out there on the field,” Norvell said.

“We talked extensively this past week of his first start, on the road. It was a loud, challenging atmosphere, but one of the things that I was most proud of him with was that he owned the football. He didn’t have any turnovers. We did have some tough plays and he was put in some tough situations when it comes to field position, and even some of the down and distance things that showed up, he was great with the ball. I thought he made some big throws in the game that really provided a spark for us, a couple big third down conversions, and just proud of him for how he’s been able to maintain, but it goes to a lot more than just what’s happening out there on the field.”

Next week, Tate Rodemaker will lead Florida State into the ACC Championship Game against Louisville with a potential Playoff bid on the line.

Mike Norvell on his conversations with Tate Rodemaker

About the midpoint of the season, Mike Norvell had a conversation with Tate Rodemaker. After the Florida game, he shared why and what went into that conversation.

“Going into the year when you’re not the starter, especially at the quarterback position, because you don’t always — if you play receiver, there’s gonna be a chance you get in the game. It might be five, 10, 15 plays. Whatever that is, whatever you earn throughout the course of the game, but at quarterback there’s times, especially when you’re behind one of the best quarterbacks in all of football that you might not get a whole lot of opportunities on the field and the urgency in practice, the growth and development, the importance of every drop that you take, the way that you communicate, you never know when you might get thrust into action but just as each player on the field has to push to get better whether you’re a starter, backup, or whether you’re redshirting this year,” Norvell said.

“I mean, it’s always about that sense of urgency and Tate didn’t do anything. It was just kind of midpoint through the season. We’d just finished our sixth game and I kind of wanted to make sure that he understood the importance and value that we put on every rep that he takes and also the appreciation for how he goes about his business. It wasn’t anything big but I said, ‘At any point this could be your team where you have to go and lead it.’ I think he’s shown in the last two games that he’s worked and he’s prepared for it. Now, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been mistakes, there’s things we have to get better at, absolutely, but he’s done a really nice job of running and controlling the offense.”