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Jared Verse Will Return to FSU for 2023 Season; Projected 1st-Round NFL Draft Pick

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2023

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) lines up for a play during the Cheez-It Bowl between the Florida State Seminoles and Oklahoma Sooners on December 29, 2022 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Florida State defensive end Jared Verse, a potential first-round pick, announced he is forgoing the 2023 NFL draft and will return to the Seminoles next season.

Jared Verse @JaredVerse1

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Bleacher Report's latest 2023 draft rankings had Verse as the No. 25 overall player. Verse told ESPN's Andrea Adelson that the NFL's feedback was "consistent" with projections that would have him be a top-20 selection.

"Obviously, the money is a big factor in it. But my biggest factor was, 'What can I improve on?'" Verse said. "I just have to look at myself and say, 'OK, every day, I've still got a lot to improve on, I've still got a lot to be better at.

"I did what was best for me, and what was best for me was coming back and competing with my team."

In the age of name, image and likeness deals, money might not have played as much of a factor in the Verse's decision as it would have a few years ago. Verse will be able to sign lucrative NIL deals that could very easily have him boasting seven figures in his bank account before he ever leaves Tallahassee.

The disruptive pass-rusher began his college career at Albany before transferring to Florida State ahead of the 2022 season, earning first-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honors in his first year with the program. He finished with 48 tackles (17 for loss) and nine sacks while soaring up draft boards.

Barely recruited out of Central Columbia High School in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, Verse's development into a worldbeater at the Power Five level has been a surprise. He redshirted his first year at Albany before bursting onto the scene with back-to-back All-CAA selections.

The emergence on the lower collegiate level made him attractive to top programs, but even then he wasn't considered a guy who could emerge as a first-round pick.

"I feel like I showed that I could play at this level, which a lot of people did not think I could do," Verse said. "I feel like there's so much more I could have done, there is so much more I expected of myself that I was not able to complete. I do feel like I still have to show I can play at an even higher level, expand that gap between me and the next person behind me."

Quarterback Jordan Travis, running back Trey Benson, wide receiver Johnny Wilson and defensive tackle Fabien Lovett also recently announced their plans to return. Florida State went 10-3 during the 2022 season and will open the 2023 campaign considered a playoff contender.