If Oregon coach Willie Taggart hasn’t agreed to take the FSU job, he sure is giving off all the signs he has, and sometimes that’s all you need.
While most were sleeping in the Eastern time zone Monday night, some good detective work by media members in Florida and Oregon indicate Taggart and the Noles have either agreed or are close to a deal to bring him to Tallahassee, officially.
First, as we wrote and constantly updated Monday night, Taggart was on a scheduled recruiting trip for the Ducks Monday afternoon visiting a Phoenix area high school QB, who has verbally committed to Oregon. But, he also took the opportunity to meet there with an FSU contingent about the opening, including AD Stan Wilcox.
Now here we go with actions, and good detective work, telling you most everything.
As we further wrote, Taggart did not follow through with a planned visit in Houston Monday night with a top wide receiver who is also an Oregon verbal commit. That recruit confirmed to the media Taggart canceled their visit and was not coming.
Next, the Oregon media reported Monday night that instead going on to Florida, as planned to continue recruiting, while on Oregon’s plane/”dime,” he instead came back to Eugene.
Why is that significant?
Because if you are in heavy negotiations with Florida State, and you planning on jumping to a new job, you start to make preparations with your staff, and especially prepare your new recruiting game plan for your new school.
Taggart had to go back to Oregon to do that. Plus, he’s now free to come to Florida later on Tuesday, Tuesday night, etc. when the time is right, and the deal is done, if it is done. He will then come to Florida on an FSU private plane or make other arrangements.
And some media paying attention to Taggart’s history and staff’s actions have given the biggest clues yet that he’s Tallahassee bound barring something un-forseen that derails the deal.
First, on their 11 p.m. newscast Monday, John Sabol of WFTS-TV (ABC) in Tampa came up with this excellent analysis of what Taggart did on Twitter the previous two times he left Western Kentucky (2012) and USF for new jobs:
If you go back & read Willie Taggart's last tweets at #WKU in 2012 & #USF in 2016 there's a pattern. Shortly after those tweets (in support of his team) he left. He sent out a "similar" tweet on Saturday & now #Oregon #Ducks fans are getting nervous he might bolt for #FSU. pic.twitter.com/7qIlkRqGUq
— John Sabol (@John_Sabol) December 5, 2017
Sabol did great research, especially on the 2012 tweets while a WKU and showing the same “cloak and dagger” behavior of acting like you are excited for your current school, it’s practice and it’s bowl game, etc., while doing a deal somewhere else to leave.
Next, the Oregon media and Ducks recruiting reporter, David Wade, were watching social media like a hawk, and overnight, discovered another huge clue: when current Ducks assistant recruiting director David Kelly began following everything/everyone related to FSU that he could:
David Kelly, Oregon's Assistant AD of Football Recruiting Operations most recent follows on twitter… pic.twitter.com/WMxJ9LOhEo
— Kevin Wade (@KwadeSays) December 5, 2017
Shortly after that, current Ducks linebackers coach Raymond Woodie, who was also with Taggart at USF, began following stud high school LB Verdis Brown from IMG Academy in Bradenton. Brown recently de-commited from FSU, and has not been recruited at all by Oregon to this point.
Now, here’s where we stop the Twitter analysis, and say that these assistants could be doing this, because Taggart informed them that it looked good that he’s getting the Florida State job.
It doesn’t mean that he 100% has the job, yet.
They are just getting prepared for the onslaught of trying to save the 2018 Noles recruiting class, which has suffered mightily in the last 10 days because Jimbo Fisher leaving them in limbo and then leaving altogether. The Seminoles had six verbal commits “de-commit” last week and weekend, alone.
So, we wait for more confirmation.
But for now, as Tuesday begins, it looks like Oregon coach for all of 12 months is about to be the new Florida State coach.
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