Category Archives: FSU Football

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

Fans Get Glimpse of the 2017 Seminoles at Spring Game

Andrew Miller, Correspondent (@AndrewMillerFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State held its 2017 Spring Game on Saturday afternoon, giving football fans a preview of what they can expect to see in the upcoming season. The game, which showcased a variety of new Nole faces in the form of prized recruits, was a defensive battle for the majority of the four quarters, ending with a 17-7 victory for the Gold.

The Gold team, headlined by returning redshirt sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois, struck first with eight minutes to go in the second quarter, as junior running back Jacques Patrick powered across the goal line for a two-yard score. Ricky Aguayo converted on the extra point to make the game 7-0.

The Garnet squad was led by junior safety Derwin James, who returned to action for the first time since his season-ending injury in week two of last year. He looked as good as ever, surveying the field and providing an overall confidence boost to a defense that will look to him for leadership next year. He led all players with seven total tackles and added two sacks.

“He’s better than he ever was,” Francois said about James after the game. “He’s the quarterback of the defense,” he added.

Continue reading Fans Get Glimpse of the 2017 Seminoles at Spring Game

Florida State 2017 Pro Day Recap

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFs on Twitter)  

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WWW.FranchiseSportsOnline.Net) – With Pro Day complete, the Seminoles will now await the 2017 NFL Draft which will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eatkins Oval.

On Tuesday, March 28th inside the FSU indoor facility 12 Florida State Seminoles were able to display their skills to NFL scouts, general managers and coaches at the FSU annual Pro Day. Continue reading Florida State 2017 Pro Day Recap

Florida State Seminoles Spring Football 2017 Preview

 Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State football is back in full swing this week. The Seminoles started spring practice this Monday, with lots of new and returning faces.

Sophomore defensive back Derwin James is back after missing 11 games last season with a torn meniscus, and five-star running back Cam Akers donned the garnet and gold for the first time.

With seven early enrollees, a few players coming back from injury, and some guys who were up-and-coming toward the end of last year, there are several people to be watching this spring. Continue reading Florida State Seminoles Spring Football 2017 Preview

Cook Reflects On Seminole Journey In Letter

Andrew Miller, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Dalvin Cook opened up to Florida State fans in a letter that he published on Monday, reflecting on his experiences as a Seminole.

In the letter, the two-time first-team All American running back thanked his coaches and fans for contributing to the growth he has experienced since the first time that he arrived on campus. Cook cites the game against The Citadel in 2014 (in which he scored his first career touchdown), as one of his favorite memories, saying that he will “remember it forever.”

Since then, Cook has started all but one game for the Seminoles, setting several school rushing records. Cook leaves Florida State as the school’s all-time rushing yards leader with 4,464 yards, the schools all-time leader in rushing yards in a season with 1,765 yards, and holds 3 of the 5 best single-game rushing performances with 267 yards, 265 yards, and 225 yards in a game, respectively. If statistics tell us anything, he will surely be missed as the Seminoles work to find his replacement.

The letter also acts as a farewell to the Seminole community, as Cook is widely considered one of the top running back prospects for the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. He concludes the letter; “I hope you think of me in a positive way. I hope I left my stamp on the program. And I hope that you remember me forever.”

Sports Brief: FSU signing day recap

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

The Florida State Seminoles capped another successful National Signing day on Feb. 1. Head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles had the No. 5 recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. This is the fourth straight year the Seminoles achieved a top-five recruiting class. In total, they signed four five-star recruits, nine four-stars, and ten three-stars.

One of those five-star recruits was running back Cam Akers. Akers was the No.1 running back out of Mississippi, and many Seminole fans are confident that he can carry the torch of good running backs at FSU. He has athleticism, size, and power. He has already enrolled at FSU, is going through spring practices, and will compete with junior Jacquez Patrick for the starting job.

The Seminoles had to wait until late in the afternoon for the decision of five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. Coming out of Houston, TX, he will be a great addition to a defensive line. He was ranked No. 6 overall according to 247Sports.

Here is the rest of the 2017 signing class:

B DeCalon Brooks – Tampa, FL

WR D.J. Matthews – Jacksonville, FL (Trinity Christian)

QB Bailey Hockman – Powder Springs, GA

DE Joshua Kaindoh – Baltimore, MD

TE Tre’ McKitty – Bradenton, FL

LB Adonis Thomas – Lawrenceville, GA

CB Stanford Samuels III – Pembroke Pines, FL

RB Khalan Labron – Virginia Beach, VA

DE Tre Lawson – North Augusta, SC

QB James Blackman – South Bay, FL

OL Brady Scott – Powder Springs, GA

TE Alex Marshall – Andover, Ma/ Bridgton, ME

LB Leonard Warner – Convyers, GA

DB Hamsah Nasirildeen – Concord, NC

DT Cory Durden – Newberry, FL

DL Ja’len Parks – Newberry, FL

DB Ontaria Wilson – Ashburn, GA

WR Tamorrion Terry – Ashburn, GA

RB Zaquandre White – N. Fort Myers, FL

DT Marvin Wilson – Houston, TX

The Seminoles spring game is on April 8. It will be the first live scrimmage in which we will see the new recruits in action. They open the regular season on Sept. 2 against Alabama.