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Florida State Seminoles

Florida State already has line coach targeted

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State has been making moves in the trenches over the last 24 hours. Coach Willie Taggart moved away from offensive line coach Greg Frey after just one season at the program. And, it appears that the corresponding move for the Noles will be to hire former University of Houston assistant, Randy Clements.

Clements was new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles’ offensive line and run game coordinator at Houston, previously. This move has been rumored since late December, as Briles and Clements have a working relationship dating back to the days at Baylor. There, Clements was the Bears’ co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 2008-2011, and the run-game coordinator/offensive line coach from 2012-16.

For those wondering, yes, he was also on the staff during the Baylor investigation that eventually lead to the firing of Briles’ father, Art Briles.

The two reconnected at Houston ,where the Cougars were led by quarterback D’Eriq King and had an impressive offense ranking 7th in total offense last season. Clements will have his work cut out for him after the FSU quarterbacks spent a lot of time on the ground last year and the run game never got going.

As a part of the 19th ranked class in the Nation, the Noles signed several new offensive linemen in the hope of a turnaround at a spot that has hurt them over the past few seasons. The most heralded one is four star recruit, Dontae Lucas of IMG Academy in Bradenton, and there’s also JuCo three star left tackle, Jay Williams of Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA.

While it remains to be seen if any of them can be a “plug and play guy” to play immediately for 2019, Clements could be the guy to get the most out of the current group.

Frey, who played on FSU’s National Championship team, isn’t being given that chance, even though, he laid most of the recruiting ground work at that position.

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Florida State Seminoles

Mixed comments from FSU coaches about 2019 O-Line

Abbey Radeka

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State is one of the few remaining state schools that have yet to name their starting quarterback. There is currently a battle for the spot among three guys, with returner James Blackman seemingly leading the pack. But more importantly on Willie Taggart’s list of things to sort out before the start of the season, is how his eventual QB is going to be protected?

And there’s been a lot of talk recently about what to expect from the Seminoles struggling O-Line.

Taggart has already made a couple major moves, with both having having yet to be seen if they’ll pay off, in letting go of former OL coach Greg Frey and having to hire a new OC after Walt Bell took the UMass job after just one season with the Noles.

He’s replaced them with Randy Clements at OL and Kendal Briles at OC. 

At an event on Tuesday, Taggart was asked about the state of his tattered O-Line, and he gave a response that fans can only hope will be proven true.

Briles and Clements could be the guys that resurrect a line that was far too unorganized and disjointed last season. In 2018, FSU ranked 114th in points per game, 129th in yards per play and 118th in sacks allowed, and only averaged 2.79 yards per carry.

At Houston, Clements and Briles produced an offensive line in 2018 that allowed the Cougars to average 43.9 points per game, ranking fifth in the nation, and 512.3 yards of total offense. 

However, Briles also spoke to the media on Tuesday, and while still positive on the future of his offense, insinuated that the line might continue to be a weak spot for the Noles this season. 

For fans, this could either be encouraging or worrisome. 

But, there is potential in some new additions to the line. 

As a part of the 19th ranked class in the Nation, the Noles signed several new offensive linemen in the hope of a turnaround at a spot that has hurt them over the past few seasons. The most heralded one is four star recruit, Dontae Lucas of IMG Academy in Bradenton, and there’s also JuCo three star left tackle, Jay Williams of Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA.

While it remains to be seen if any of them can be a “plug and play guy” to play immediately for 2019, Clements could be the guy to get the most out of the current group.

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Florida State Seminoles

FSU visited by Dungy and Brooks in Bradenton

Abbey Radeka

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

FSU has spent the week practicing at IMG in Bradenton. On Wednesday, head coach Willie Taggart invited former NFL head coach Tony Dungy and Seminole legend Derrick Brooks spend some time with the team and offer a few words of wisdom after practice.

Taggart wanted the guys to give his payers some insight on what it takes to be a part of a turn around team.

The former Super Bowl winning head coach told the team team that, if they want to see success on the field, they’re going to have to come together to do it.

He ended with what it really means to be a champion, and having that championship mentality goes far beyond what you can do for your school on the field.

“Being a champion isn’t just being the best you can be on the field. Thats part of it. But it’s being the best teammate you can be, its being the best student you can be, person you can be and impact everyone. We didn’t bring you to Florida State just to win a national champion ship…Be the best person you can be for this university, for your family for your teammates, and you’ll leave a legacy here at Florida State.

You guys wanted to come to Florida State because of what these guys did. There are kids now who are going to want to come to Florida State because of what guys do. And that’s the power, that’s the fun, that’s what you’re going to really remember.”

Brooks then joined him for an extended Q&A session and told the group of guys, including his son, sophomore DeCalon Brooks, about what goes into a championship culture.

“It doesn’t take talent to have a championship culture, right? It takes effort. It takes awesome. No excuses, no explanations.” And mirroring the sentiment of Dungy he added, “that championship culture has to extend itself off the field…and we have the ingredients to be a championship-culture program.”

You can watch the full conversation here.

Coach Dungy has had a relationship with the Seminoles for a while, as Bobby Bowden was one of his role models when he began his career in coaching. And, in his time in Tampa with the Bucs, he coached two FSU greats in Brooks and Warrick Dunn.

Dungy and Brooks were foundational pieces of turning the Buccaneer program around and instilling a championship culture in Tampa Bay.

There’s no doubt that Tallahassee is ready for the return of a championship culture.

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