Jared Verse spent last week watching the NFL Scouting Combine, not as a participant but as an observer.

It wasn’t exactly the way many assumed the talented Florida State edge rusher would make his presence known. At one point, the 6-foot-4, 253-pound defensive end was projected as a first-round selection after a stellar first FBS season in which he led the team in tackles for loss (16.5), sacks (9) and blocked kicks (1).

He received an 81.2 grade from Pro Football Focus which is better than most of the edge rushers projected in the first and second rounds of the NFL draft outside of Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. (83.6) and USC’s Tuli Tuipulotu (82.1).

Despite the lure of a multimillion contract, Verse returned to the Seminoles in 2023.

“I always wanted him to feel like he was doing what was best for himself,” said defensive ends coach John Papuchis. “So when it came time for him to make that decision, I made a conscious effort not to weigh in too much on it other than if he asked me my opinion on something or my advice. I wanted him to come back.

“I love coaching him, but I wanted him to do what was best for him. So I was super excited when he made that decision. Now the work starts.”

The decision to return to FSU came down to Verse believing he could improve. He could overwhelm offensive linemen with his athleticism, but there had to be more to help him unleash his true potential.

“It was getting better on the technical side of things,” said Verse. “Physically, I could have left and gone to the NFL and been fine, but it’s the mental side of things where I need to get better. That was something Coach [Mike] Norvell hammered home to me.”

It’s a belief justified by watching participants in last week’s Combine.

“Everybody wants to get stronger, faster and bigger, but I want to be able to read the game a little bit quicker,” Verse said. “At the next level, it’s a lot quicker. Even at the Combine, those guys are a lot quicker. Everybody is a lot quicker than this level right now. I just have to read the game a little quicker to be prepared for that.”

Verse’s accomplishments are even more impressive, considering he spent much …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


In search of next level within, Jared Verse puts NFL on hold to return to FSU

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