Category Archives: FSU Football

Godby-FSU Alumn Looks To Hear Name Called At NFL Draft

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Jacob Pugh is one of many athletes hoping to hear his name called during the NFL Draft. Pugh began his path to the draft in Tallahassee, where he attended Amos P. Godby High School.

Pugh made his talents known there as a defensive end in his junior season in 2012. That year, he collected a total of 98 tackles along with 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions.

During Pugh’s senior season, he saw much of the same as he ranked in the top-100 players in the country and led the Cougars to a playoff appearance.  He had 64 total tackles along with nine sacks and three fumble recoveries. Pugh ended his high school career with a trip to the Under Armour All-American game.
The following spring, Pugh signed his letter of intent with the Florida State Seminoles. His freshman season he transitioned from defensive end to linebacker. Pugh recorded twelve tackles and two interceptions on the season.

His sophomore campaign saw an increase in his playing time. He played in 10 games that year with 32 tackles and three sacks.
Pugh had a breakout season in his junior year. He made 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Instead of entering the draft, he stayed for his senior season.  

Pugh called last season a “nightmare”, as FSU only won two of its first seven games. Pugh also had injury problems that kept him out for an extended time his senior season; only playing in eight games with 21 tackles.
Pugh now looks forward to entering the draft and pursuing a career in the NFL. At the combine, he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash, recorded a 38.5 inch vertical jump and  122 inch broad jump. Pugh is projected as day-three selection. 

Weekly Report: FSU Spring Football Report with Head Coach Willie Taggart

 

Brianna Biancardi, Correspondent (@bribiancardiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. – Florida State’s head football coach Willie Taggart held his first official pre-spring press conference this past Monday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Taggart addressed the media and responded to questions regarding the program, team and upcoming spring practices.

Taggart initiated the conference with a shoutout to the men’s and women’s basketball team for their success, including the men who will now advance to Elite 8 on Saturday night against Michigan. Taggart continued to express his support for the Noles and finished his commencement by stating, “It’s good to be around winners.”

Taggart then referenced to Florida State football. By the look on his face and the sound in his voice, his excitement about the upcoming spring season, as well as his involvement within the program, was crystal clear.

“I’m ready to see them go through the next process of another spring ball, Coach Taggart said. “We’ve been in the wait room and now it’s time to go out and execute on the football field.” Continue reading Weekly Report: FSU Spring Football Report with Head Coach Willie Taggart

Willie Taggart Introduced as New FSU Head Coach

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –New Florida State head coach Willie Taggart is coming home. In an emotional introductory press conference Wednesday afternoon, Taggart described the FSU head coaching position as his “dream job”.

Taggart’s arrival brings an end to what’s been a roller coaster of a week for FSU and its administration. The school parted ways with eight-year head coach Jimbo Fisher after he signed a 10-year, $75 million contact with Texas A&M.  Around 10:45 A.M., he exited his SUV outside of Doak Campbell Stadium and immediately embraced university President John Thrasher. He walked through a tunnel of cheerleaders and FSU band members, emphatically doing the Tomahawk Chop as the iconic Seminole Warchant blared all around him.

“I can finally say ‘I’m in,’” said the new coach, with eyes watering from emotion. “I wanted to come here and play. I guess I wasn’t good enough to get a scholarship to play here…No matter where I went, the Seminoles were always a part of me.”

The 41-year-old has been a Seminole his entire life, along with the rest of his family.

“If you weren’t a ‘Noles fan, you probably weren’t staying in that house,” said Taggart, about his family’s die-hard commitment to the ‘Noles.

Taggart coached at the University of South Florida from 2013-2016, and even then, his family had to root for FSU. Taggart described a time when his brother told him that he was still going to cheer on the Seminoles, even when Taggart coached a game against FSU.

Taggart was offered the FSU job after his one-year stint with the University of Oregon. He thanked Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullins, and said that the decision to leave was hard. However, he said, the situation was too good to pass up.

“I wasn’t going to leave it just for anything because it was perfect and my family loved it there and had everything going the right way”, said Taggart. “But to be closer to your family and still have an opportunity to coach in the Power Five and still have an opportunity to win a National Championship, which is a personal goal, it was tough to overcome.”

He said that his decision came after a profound moment he had with his 16-year-old son. While sitting at home and discussing the decision with his wife, his son walked in and offered some advice to the coach and father of three.

“He said ‘Dad, You always tell me to chase my dreams and don’t let anyone get in the way of it,” Taggart said. “I don’t think it’s right for me or anyone else to stop you from chasing your dreams… I don’t want to leave, Dad, but if you’re going to chase your dream, then I’m going to ride with you.”

Coach Taggart had just lost his father this past summer, and he said that listening to his son talk to him was like “my father talking to me.”

Taggart won’t coach the ‘Noles in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 27. His first official game with FSU will be Sep. 3, 2018 against Virginia Tech at home.

Taggart comes here with a history of turning programs around. Seminole fans might remember him mostly for his stint with the University of South Florida. In 2013, he took a team that went 3-9 the previous year and went 2-10 in his first season. From there, the team improved on their wins with each season, going 4-8, 8-5, and 11-2 respectively from 2014-2016. In his final two seasons, he brought them to a bowl, although he had already resigned before the 2016 bowl game in which they beat South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.

Source: SB Nation
Taggart has a career record of 47-50

 

At Western Kentucky, he took  over a team that was winless in the season before he got there, and improved the team to 2-10, 7-5, and 7-6 in his three years there. They were bowl eligible in his final two years, and got invited to the Little Caesar’s Bowl in his final season.

Oregon was 7-5 in his one season with them.

The Bradenton, Fla. native will likely offer a solid recruiting pipeline in the central Florida area. The 2018 recruiting class for FSU is already hurting. Between the time that former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was fired from A&M and the time Taggart was hired, FSU had lost seven recruits, and slid from having the No. 11 recruiting class to No. 40, according to Rivals.com.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love you all too and love being here, but there’s a lot of work to be done, and we’ve got to make sure we do that,” Taggart said in regards to recruiting.

He attended the FSU men’s basketball game last night to address the crowd, saying he wants to “lead FSU back to its winning ways.”

After the game, he went to four-star linebacker recruit Amari Gainer’s home to speak with him. Gainer reiterated his committment to FSU posting a picture with coach on Twitter with the caption “1000% #Tribe18.”

Taggart is also the first full-time black head coach for FSU. FSU is the only Power Five school to have a black Athletic Director, football coach, and basketball coach. When addressed about it, he gave credit where it was due.

“I [wasn’t] necessarily the full-time coach, because Odell [Haggins] is the first African American coach here,” Taggart said.

He was referring to FSU defensive line coach Odell Haggins, who took over the head coaching job in an interim role for the last regular season game. Haggins was the first ever black head football coach in FSU history in either an interim or full-time role. Haggins will also be acting head coach for the Seminoles when they play Southern Mississippi in the Independence Bowl.

 

It’s Taggart Time For Florida State

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State football’s first head coaching search in 41 years has come to an end, with the hiring of Willie Taggart.

Taggart, 41, was previously the head coach at the University of Oregon, where he was 7-5 in his only season.

Although he has an overall head coaching record of 47-50, he has shown he can quickly turn programs around.

Seminole fans might remember him mostly for his stint with the University of South Florida. In 2013, he took a team that went 3-9 the previous year and went 2-10 in his first season. From there, the team improved on their wins with each season, going 4-8, 8-5, and 11-2 respectively from 2014-2016. In his final two seasons, he brought them to a bowl, although he had already resigned before the 2016 bowl game in which they beat South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.

At Western Kentucky, he took  over a team that was winless in the season before he got there, and improved the team to 2-10, 7-5, and 7-6 in his three years there. They were bowl eligible in his final two years, and got invited to the Little Caesar’s Bowl in his final season.

The Bradenton, Fla. native will likely offer a solid recruiting pipeline in the central Florida area. The 2018 recruiting class for FSU is already hurting. Between the time that former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was fired from A&M–and the rumors of Jimbo Fisher’s departure started getting more credible– and the time Taggart was hired, FSU had lost seven recruits, and slid from having the No. 11 recruiting class to No. 40, according to Rivals.com.

However, some of the recruits that did stick around are excited for Taggart’s arrival.

“I’m really excited. I’ve heard great things about him and I can’t wait to play under him. We’re gonna bring in a really great class,” said four-star linebacker Amari Gainer in a statement to Nole Gameday.

Uncomfirmed reports also say that Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt will be coming to FSU to take the same role. Oregon gave up 360 yards per game in 2017, which was No. 40 in the nation. Previously, Leavitt was the coach at USF from its inception in 1997 until 2009. He went 95-67, and brought USF to five straight bowl games in his final five seasons, going 3-2 in those games.

Because former head coach Jimbo Fisher was appointed “head coach in waiting” while Bobby Bowden was still a head coach at FSU, this is the first actual head coaching search for the Seminoles since 1976. Taggart was born in late August of 1976, which means he wasn’t even alive when FSU last negotiated a contract with a brand new head coach.

Taggart will become FSU’s first full-time black head coach.

An introductory press conference will be held at 11 A.M. on Wednesday.

How the Seminoles can still make a Bowl Game

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State University football team has gotten out to an abysmal 3-6 start to their season and a 3-5 start in conference play.  At this point in the season most players, coaches and fans would think this is just a lost season and there isn’t much to play for besides pride.  Even after this terrible start, the Seminoles can play for more than pride as they can still reach bowl eligibility at six wins.

The Seminoles have three games left and if they can win all three they will be sitting at 6-6 and surely make a bowl due to their eligibility and name. Recently Florida State rescheduled one of there games, that was not played due to Hurricane Irma at the beginning of the season, for December 2nd against Louisiana Monroe.

The three teams the Seminoles have left to play are Delaware State, Florida, and Louisiana Monroe in that order.  All of these games are winnable games, especially Delaware State and Louisiana Monroe two none “Power 5” teams. Florida will be the game that the Seminoles need to play their best.

The Gators also have a record of 3-6 but will be ready to play Florida State hard in their rivalry game.  

Fisher is still optimistic as Game 5 approaches

Brianna Biancardi, Correspondent (@BriBiancardiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –The Florida State-Miami rivalry continued last Saturday at Doak
Campbell Stadium, as the two teams squared off for the 62nd time.

The Miami Hurricanes (4-0, 1-0 in the American Coast Conference) trailed by three points in the fourth quarter, but the Seminoles (1-3, 1-2 in the American Coast Conference) were unable to hang
on for the win.

With only six seconds remaining in the game, the Hurricanes’ redshirt junior QB Malik Rosier threw a
23-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior WR Darrell Langham to put an end to Florida State’s seven-game winning streak against the Hurricanes.

“It was a great physical football game,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Unfortunately, they made one more play than we did.”

After scoring three touchdowns in the final quarter, the Hurricanes came out victorious, defeating the Seminoles 24-20.

“Miami is a good team,” Fisher continued. “I give them credit, but at the same time we had opportunities and we just have to do things a little bit better.”

The Seminoles continue their ACC season on Saturday, as they head North to take on Duke (4-2, 1-2 in the American Coast Conference) at Wallace Wade Stadium at noon

Duke enters the game having lost back-to-back games and two of their three in-conference matchups. Despite their record, the Blue Devils rushing defense ranks seventh in the NCAA.

“They are a good football team,” Fisher said. “They are right on the verge of winning all of their games defensively.”

Meanwhile, the Seminoles have increased their rushing totals with each game, posting 203 yards in last Saturday’s contest. Going into this weekend’s matchup, Fisher hopes to lead his team to
victory after their 1-3 start to the season.

“It’s about us,” Fisher said. “We’re all in this together.”
Things to know about this game:

● James Blackman became the first true freshman starting quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles. Blackman has completed 50 of his 87 passes so far this season for the
Seminoles, leading to 602 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 60.7 percent of his passes in last week’s game, which was a career-high for the young quarterback.
● It is not often that these two teams face one another, but the Seminoles have won all 17 of their previous matchups against the Blue Devils.
● Most famously, in 2013, Florida State defeated Duke 45-7 in the ACC Championship game thanks to three touchdown passes from Jameis Winston.

Noles to Host Hurricanes

Alec Chessari, Correspondent (@AlecChessariFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Miami Hurricanes will be making their way to Doak Campbell Stadium as they get ready for the Florida State Seminoles at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The Seminoles (1-2, 1-1 ACC) are heading into this week’s matchup against the Hurricanes (3-0, 1-0) unranked for the first time in more than five years under head coach Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles have beaten the Hurricanes the past seven years. Miami is still leading the all-time series 31-30.

Last year’s matchup ended with the Seminoles blocking the Hurricanes PAT to win 20-19. Also, the Seminoles had Dalvin Cook in the backfield, who carried the ball 27 times for 150 yards. This year’s matchup will feature true freshman quarterback James Blackman under the center for FSU.

Last Saturday, Blackman and the Seminoles traveled to Wake Forrest for an in-conference game. Blackman accounted for 121 yards while completing 11 of 21 passes and a touchdown.

Miami played an away conference game against Duke last Friday and won 31-6. The Hurricanes defense did not allow a touchdown the entire game. Miami’s quarterback Malik Rosier accounted for 270 yards while completing 15 of 26 passes for two touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

Some key players for the Florida State Seminoles are:

Derwin James (Defensive Back)

James was sidelined due to an injury last season which forced him to watch the game from a different perspective. This year he is healthy and will be a key factor for the Seminoles to win the game. James has 18 total tackles, 12 solo tackles and six assisted tackles.  

James Blackman (Quarterback)

Blackman is a true freshman starting for the Seminoles after an injury sidelined Deondre Francios for the season. Blackman has completed 33 of his 59 passes so far for the Seminoles, racking up 399-yards and two touchdowns.

Auden Tate (Wide Receiver)

Tate is a 6-foot-5-inches target that can go up and get the ball. Tate has 13 catches for 226 yards and three touchdowns this season, including the game-winning touchdown against Wake Forest last week.

Some key players for the Miami Hurricanes entering this game:

Malik Rosier (Quarterback)

Rosier is a junior for the Hurricanes and has completed 59 of 90 attempts for 820 yards and eight touchdowns in three games this season. Rosier has the patience to stay in the pocket and also the legs to keep the chains moving.

Ahmmon Richards (Wide Receiver)

Richards is a sophomore and although he hasn’t started the season like he did last year he will be a key player for Rosier in this matchup against the Seminoles. He has three catches for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Shaquille Quarterman (Linebacker)

Quarterman was ranked as one of the top linebackers in the ACC last season as a freshman. This season he has accounted for 21 tackles, 13 solo tackles and eight assisted.

 

 

 

Travis Rudolph’s Father Fatally Shot

Andrew Miller, Correspondent (@AndrewMillerFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Darryl Rudolph, the father of former Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph, died Saturday night after being accidentally shot in the head. Rudolph, a club bouncer at Sugar Daddy’s Cabaret in West Palm Beach, was found inside a back storage room of the club with a mortal gunshot wound to the head and neck area.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department, Rudolph was doing some kind of repair work inside the club when an employee in an adjacent room moved a firearm from a shelf, subsequently (accidentally) firing through the wall and striking Rudolph. The incident occurred at 9:25 PM on Friday night.

Continue reading Travis Rudolph’s Father Fatally Shot

Derwin James Back and Better Than Ever

Andrew Miller, Correspondent (@AndrewMillerFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –  When defensive stud Derwin James went down with an injury in week two of last year, many Florida State fans held their breath. After the game against Charleston Southern, those fans’ fears quickly became reality—the talented junior safety was victimized by a season-ending knee injury that kept him out of action for the remainder of the season.

Continue reading Derwin James Back and Better Than Ever