Former Florida State coach Willie Taggart may be living the buyout life for now, but it’s always good to keep some doors open for some new opportunities. Who knows whether or not Taggart will be joining the Michigan Wolverines in the near future as a member of the football staff under Jim Harbaugh, but Taggart has been spotted taking in a hockey game in Ann Arbor this evening, with none other than Jack Harbaugh by his side.
Yep. That’s Taggart sitting in the row directly in front of Jack Harbaugh. For those unaware, there is a history between the two men, so Taggart hanging out with Harbaugh comes as no real surprise. Taggart was recruited to play quarterback at Western Kentucky out of high school. The assistant coach doing the recruiting? Jim Harbaugh. The head coach of the Hilltoppers? That’s right. It was Jack Harbaugh. Taggart went on to begin his coaching career at WKU working under Jack Harbaugh and Taggart left to take on the role of running backs coach under Jim Harbaugh when the current Wolverines head coach was hired by Stanford.
Is Taggart moving closer to coming full circle in his coaching career and be a new assistant coach at Michigan? At the very least, perhaps Taggart will be one of the next analysts that help to Wolverines. Time will tell, but it would certainly seem like a good possibility for Taggart to remain in the coaching game.
It was only a matter of time before former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher was asked about this week’s developments out of Tallahassee. Florida State fired Fisher’s successor, Willie Taggart, on Sunday after a home loss to Miami.
“I hate it for the program, himself, the kids and everybody involved,” Fisher said when asked about Taggart’s firing, according to The Dallas Morning News. “I wish him nothing but the best. … I know they’ll do well. I wish the school the best, I wish Willie the best, and all those players. I still have a great fondness and love for Florida State and want them to do very well.”
Before leaving the Seminoles to take on the job at Texas A&M, Fisher coached Florida State to the last BCS National Championship and an appearance in the inaugural College Football Playoff. While the search for a new head coach at Florida State is underway, one sports book has gone so far as to list Fisher among a list of potential candidates for the job. Granted, Fisher has extreme long shot odds to be the next head coach at Florida State, and his name was likely added more for fun, along with Bobby Bowden and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Fisher deflected the chance to comment any further on whether or not it was the right time to fire Taggart at Florida State, which should be expected from any coach and not just one that previously coached at the institution. Fisher may have some choice comments he is reluctant to share in the back of his head, but he’s also smart enough to know saying anything on the situation would do no good for anybody.
Fisher wasn’t the only coach in the SEC asked about the situation at Florida State. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, who has been mentioned as a potential leading candidate for the job, has deflected the attention on the subject to focus on the Wildcats.
As if losing a game to Virginia was not bad enough for the Florida State Seminoles, head coach Willie Taggart announce don Monday linebacker Joshua Kaindoh will miss the remainder of the season. Kaindoh, a former five-star recruit and a starter for the Seminole defense, is out for the year due to a lower-body ankle injury, according to Taggart.
Kaindoh suffered the injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss at Virginia. He was carted off the field. Kaindoh has appeared in every game since his arrival at Florida State in 2017. Because he has only appeared in three games this season, he is eligible to use a redshirt season this year to preserve two more years of eligibility beginning in 2020. The NCAA modified the redshirt rule last season to allow players to save a redshirt season as long as they appear in four games or fewer during the season.
With Kaindoh out of action, that will likely lead to Florida State using Janarius Robinson on more plays, as the two had been splitting playing time this season. But depth on the defensive line has become a growing concern for Florida State, who has been dealing with all sorts of issues on defense to start the season.
Kaindoh’s season comes to an abrupt end with nine tackles and a sack.
Taggart also made note that left tackle Jauan Williams is now “week-to-week” while he bounces back from an ankle injury form Week 2, the severity of which is far less troublesome than the injury to Kaindoh.
The NFL draft is rapidly approaching on the football offseason calendar. The time when college football fans and NFL fans can come together in one single football event is always a fun time of the year for a variety of reasons. For college football fans, the bragging rights about having more players drafted than your rivals is something that is given close attention, and don’t think the coaches aren’t eager to cash in on the NFL draft buzz either.
This year, as is typically the case, a handful of coaches from the college game will be heading to the draft to send off some of their most recent success stories. Among those attending the event this year in Nashville will be some familiar faces. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and Alabama head coach Nick Saban will be the headliners at the draft among the college football coaching fraternity. Other head coaches attending the event will include David Cutcliffe of Duke, Matt Luke of Ole Miss, Ed Orgeron of LSU, Mark Stoops of Kentucky, Willie Taggart of Florida State, Joe Moorhead of Mississippi State, and Lincoln Riley of Nebraska.
Although not a head coach, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson will also reportedly be in attendance.
These are coaches of schools that are either well-represented at the NFL Draft on a regular basis and/or have some key players who may be going in the first round. Unfortunately, the NFL Draft being held in Nashville will not include either head coach from Tennessee or Vanderbilt unless there is a change in the plans.
For those keeping score at home, and there is unquestionably at least one of you doing so, that is five coaches from the SEC, three from the ACC, and one each from the Big Ten the Big 12.
The 2019 NFL Draft will run from April 25-27. The Arizona Cardinals currently own the top pick, which could end up being used for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma, Kyler Murray.
Florida State head coach Willie Taggart said he had a plan to address the obvious need for a quarterback last month. A transfer option appeared to be the most logical solution to pad the depth at the position for the upcoming season, and now that transfer option has joined the program. Alex Hornibrook, a former starter at Wisconsin, has announced he is heading to Florida State to finish off his college football career.
The addition of Hornibrook gives Florida State an experienced starter to throw into the mix as a potential starter for the Seminoles this fall. In his last three seasons at Wisconsin, Hornibrook has played in 35 games and thrown for 5,438 yards with 47 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. He has certainly had his highs and lows in a Wisconsin uniform, but there is something to be said about having the experience to fall back on.
Hornibrook is likely heading to Florida State expecting to start. Most fifth-year seniors don’t transfer without that expectation. Florida State’s quarterback situation is one of the bigger storylines for the program this offseason given the current state of the position. For the second straight recruiting cycle, Florida State did not sign a quarterback on signing day. The dismissal of Deondre Francois and the loss of a high-profile target to Maryland really hurt the depth. Justin Blackman returns, of course, and may be the biggest obstacle standing in Hornibrook’s way this fall.
After signing day, Taggart was secretive about his plans to address the concerns at quarterback. Whether Hornibrook was his primary goal will likely remain unknown, but Taggart at least got someone who has been a regular starter.