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FSU's Wilson says team moving forward after dispute with coach

Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson enters the 2020 season as one of college football's best players. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson enters the 2020 season as one of college football's best players. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, one of the top prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft, is expressing unity with his teammates and head coach Mike Norvell hours after alleging that Norvell lied regarding communication between Norvell and the team about the killing of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

In a Tweet posted late Wednesday night, Wilson said he and his teammates were outraged by published comments attributed to Norvell stating that the coach had individually reached out to all of his players to discuss Floyd's death. Wilson said the players would not take part in workouts until further notice. However, it appears Norvell and the players were able to come to an agreement during a team meeting Thursday morning that will keep the squad intact.

"Took a stand we got what we wanted & we are moving forward!!! I appreciate @coachnorvell for encouraging me to use my platform and speak for what me and teammates believe in," Wilson wrote in a Thursday afternoon Instagram post. "Be the change that you need when you was growing up and help build black communities up and take back what is ours."

Wilson said in the video accompanying the caption that the team came together Thursday and agreed to a series of actions, including registering to vote in the fall election and raising money to assist black students in their education.

This all started when, on Tuesday evening, Tashan Reed of The Athletic published comments from Norvell on social media that read, in part, "We've had a lot of open communication with our team, our players and our coaches. I went back and forth with every player individually this weekend."

Norvell released a statement later on Thursday, acknowledging that he made a mistake in his depiction of the communication.

"I'm proud of Marvin for utilizing his platform to express his reaction to my comments in an earlier interview," Norvell stated. "Last Saturday evening, I sent a text to each player individually to present an opportunity for open communication with me. Many members of our team chose to respond and have more in-depth conversations about issues and feelings. Marvin is right. It was a mistake to use the word 'every'. Particularly at this time, words are important, and I'm sorry. Once again, I am grateful for the opportunity that I was given to speak to our team more in-depth as a result of Marvin being willing to express his feelings. We will continue to communicate and work together to be part of the solution making our world a better place for ALL."

FSU began voluntary team workouts earlier this week, following nearly three months off due to COVID-19.

Floyd, a black man, died when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25. His death has led to nationwide protesting in the days since.

Wilson (6-foot-5, 310 pounds), a team captain in 2019, earned first-team All-ACC honors last season despite playing only nine games before suffering a season-ending hand injury. Wilson told The Tallahassee Democrat this spring that he received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board for the 2020 draft, but decided instead to return to FSU for his senior season. The Houston native recorded five sacks among 8.5 tackles for loss as a junior, and was a five-star recruit in high school.

Norvell was hired by FSU in December to replace Willie Taggart, and had previously coached Memphis, where he led the Tigers to four bowl appearances in four years.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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