The tumultuous and at times bizarre off-season at Florida State continued that trend on Friday afternoon. That’s when FSU head coach Willie Taggart announced that he had fired his offensive line coach, Greg Frey, after only one season together in Tallahassee.
Taggart released a statement early Friday afternoon confirming that he had informed Frey Friday morning that he was out:
— Curt Weiler (@CurtMWeiler) February 15, 2019
The move won’t come as a huge surprise, because Florida State’s offensive line specifically, was a disaster for much of last season. A season in which the Noles finished 5 and 7 for their first year under .500 since 1977. And, the offensive line continually struggled to pick up the new system of former offensive coordinator Walt Bell, and even more glaring, be able to do simple things like pass block regularly for quarterback, Deondre Francois.
Frey being scapegoated on Friday, and that’s an appropriate way to describe it, wraps up what has been constant almost soap opera involving the coaching staff and more, since the end of the year.
First, Bell left in December to take the UMass head coaching job. Taggart eventually and controversially, replaced him with Kendal Briles a former Florida Atlantic and Baylor assistant. Briles is the son of Art Briles who was fired amidst multiple sexual assault allegations against his players over an extended period of time earlier this decade.
The soap opera continued, when Francois was accused a couple of weeks ago by his girlfriend on social media of threatening domestic violence against her. This was the second straight off season with Francois being accused of this. Taggart dismissed Francois the next day after the social media posts by the girlfriend. Francois, started all but one game last year for FSU, and his departure left a void on the field.
Then more bumbling, as the Noles were unable to secure a top-flight high school quarterback, as North Carolina High School prospect Sam Howell reneged on his verbal commitment to Florida State. This was probably in part, because Bell had left, and Howell chose to go to the UNC Tar Heels and stay home.
The Noles also missed out on the other two quarterback prospects they were hoping to land and went for the second consecutive season without signing a star quarterback in their recruiting classes under Taggart. That last part, by the way, is almost unheard of for a major college powerhouse program to not be able to get a quality high school quarterback to come to your school for two straight years.
At the moment the only scholarship quarterback that Taggart and Briles have is 2017 starter, James Blackman.
Back to Frey. He came to Florida State after one season at Michigan as an offensive line coach. The previous six years he was at Indiana as their offensive line coach, as well.
It had been a homecoming for Frey to be hired by Taggart and Florida State, as he was a lineman for the Seminoles in the early 1990s, including on the 1993 National Championship team.
It’s also curious that Frey was let go a week after the Seminoles Signing Day class was secured, which does include a couple of prominent offensive lineman on it.
Still, Taggart is in charge and scrambling or not, and soap opera or not, he’s got to try to have Florida State improved in a hurry in 2019.
Or, Taggart may very well be out of a job himself.
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