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Florida State Seminoles

Just how did Willie Taggart and staff pull together excellent recruiting class?

Florida Football Insiders



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The dust has settled on the first recruiting class for new FSU coach Willie Taggart, and considering the disaster he inherited from his early December hiring, the Noles made out exceptionally well.

So much so, that the class was ranked #11 by 247 Sports final national rankings this week.

Some of the background of how that was accomplished was laid out here by Andrea Adelson of, who was given a behind the scenes look at days leading up up to National Signing Day:

With that access, Adelson revealed that Taggart loves to get reved up by Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” (What fan of the 80’s doesn’t?) and was doing so not only on the drive into the office, but as the Noles scored recruit after recruit Wednesday morning, he asked for it to be cranked in the “recruiting war room,” too.

It should also be noted that Taggart pulled together the recruiting class around the first ever December early signing day, while trying to hire his coaching staff. And actually, didn’t hire his new defensive coordinator, Harlon Barnett from Michigan State, or Walt Bell from Maryland, until after several key recruits signed.

Speaking of Bell, he revealed to the Tallahassee Democrat in a Saturday item that when Taggart hired him, that he drove straight from his recruiting trip for the Terps in Atlanta to Tallahassee to  sign his deal and take the job. And, also that he didn’t have anything but Maryland golf shirts to wear with him.

Bell, and the other assistants, some who were with Taggart at USF and then traveled for one year to go with Oregon, have all had to get to know each other, but more importantly, close the recruits who were interested, but maybe unsure, about still coming to Florida State.

They were able to score recruits locally in the panhandle, in the Tampa Bay area, which Fisher had all but abandoned previously, and Taggart even flipped a prominent Oregon WR recruit to come to Tallahassee with them.

Almost every reputable recruiting service moved Florida State into their top 20 if not their top 15 for 2018.

It has to be considered a Noles success in that regard.

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