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Florida State Seminoles

Who is Jacques Patrick?

Josh Ciganek

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Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire
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Most coaches around the country lose sleep, forget to eat, and maybe even pull out some hair, when dealing with the stress of losing your best offensive weapon. But, as the Noles prepare to open camp, the coaching staff is feeling just fine, as they are still in good hands at the running back position.

With all the early off season hype surrounding 5-star recruit Cam Akers it is  actually another back who’s getting the call, as the opening day back for the Noles.

Jimbo Fisher made it official earlier Tuesday:

Just who is Jacques Patrick? Patrick was rated a 4-star recruit coming out of Timber Creek in Orlando, where he was named the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year. While Patrick may not spilt out wide and make a catch down the sideline, he can run you over down the heart of your defense.

At 6-2 and 231 pounds, no question he is the power back of the group. We haven’t seen a power back at FSU since James Wilder Jr, who could be a great comparison for Patrick. And, it’s not like Patrick is completely inexperienced,  he had a 162-yard game with 3 touchdowns in 2015 vs. Syracuse.

Patrick will bring a dimension to the running game that they may have lacked with Cook, which is his power. The power can do a number of things to help the run game and offense as a whole. He can turn those 3 and 4 yard runs into 5 and 6 yard runs by just powering his way through a tackle for extra yards.

Also by running hard and with power, the runs that go for 3 yards or fewer are still grueling for the defense. You still have to make the tackle on such a big man. All of that adds up to the defense becoming more and more tired. Which then can open up the passing game, or runs outside of the hashes.

All in all, you can’t expect Jacques Patrick to be Dalvin Cook 2.0 because he simply is not. What you can expect is for him to be Jacques Patrick 1.0, because that is in fact who he is. Patrick is going to work hard for this team by running hard and teaching the young guys behind him.

While you can’t expect him to do things Cook did, you can expect to see things Cook did not do. The Noles haven’t had this kind of power potential at tail back in a few seasons. It should be exciting to see how the offense plays out in Tallahassee this season.

Josh Ciganek is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

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Florida State Seminoles

FSU RB Akers announced Saturday he’s turning pro

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
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FSU running back Cam Akers has played his final game for the Noles. The talented junior running back announced on social media Saturday afternoon that he will not play in the upcoming Sun Bowl matchup with Arizona State. He will instead prepare starting now for the NFL Draft:

“These last three years have been incredible, and I am so appreciative that the FSU family welcomed a kid from Mississippi with open arms….. I have decided to enter the 2020 NFL draft and will not play in the Sun Bowl,” Akers post stated, in part.

Florida State was back on the practice field Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee after exam week concluded. Interim coach Odell Haggins is still overseeing the practice with newly hired head coach Mike Norvell out recruiting throughout the South.

Back to Akers, he came to the Seminoles of the highly-touted running back out of Clinton, MS, who ran for 8,000 yards in his career. However he suffered behind poor offensive line play each of the last two seasons, but still Acres finished 2019 with just over 1,100 yards rushing 14 TDs. A year ago those numbers were worse at just over 700 yards and six scores.

Originally recruited by Jimbo Fisher staff, Akers endured three offensive coordinators in three seasons, when new coach Willie Taggart took over for 2018 and hired Walt Bell for the 2018 campaign. Then Bell left to be the head coach at UMass after last season and Taggart hired Kendal Briles for this season.

The offense sputtered throughout the early season and Taggart was fired on November 3rd with three games remaining. Had Akers chosen to stay for Norvell, he’s already hired Kenny Dillingham (his former Memphis OC), which would have been a fourth coordinator.

It’s believed that Akers would likely be a possible second round pick, but he may slip to the third round or beyond because of the shaky productivity of FSU’s offense the last couple of years.

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Florida State Seminoles

Taggart’s FAU contract details released

Florida Football Insiders

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Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
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Former FSU head coach Willie Taggart was officially introduced as Florida Atlantic University’s new head coach on Thursday afternoon. Along with the announcement, were the details to his new contract with the Owls.

According to USA Today and the Associated Press, Taggart is receiving $750,000 a year in base pay for five years with a $3 million buyout if Taggart leaves before December of 2022.

The Palm Beach Post broke down his full contract details that includes performance bonuses and perks. 

— Taggart will make $750,000 per year for five years. For comparison, FAU’s last head coach, Lane Kiffin, made a $950,000 base salary per year. Kiffin’s earnings went over $1 million when a home loan, given to him by FAU, was factored in.

— Taggart owes FAU $3 million if he leaves the school or is fired before Dec. 1, 2022. The buyout drops to $1 million if he leaves before Dec. 1, 2023 and $500,000 between Dec. 2, 2023-Dec. 31, 2024.

— Taggart will receive a $25,000 retention bonus every Jan. 15.

— Incentives for Taggart include $100,000 for making a New Year’s Six Bowl or a top-10 finish. Taggart earns $50,000 for a Top 25 finish or for being named the National Coach of the Year.

— Taggart receives $20,000 for making the Conference USA Championship Game and $40,000 for winning it. FAU has won two league titles in the past three years.

— Taggart earns an extra $30,000 for making a bowl game. Winning the national championship nets Taggart $500,000.

— Taggart’s buyout is offset by his base salary at FAU. FSU will save around $3 million on Taggart’s $18 million buyout.

In addition to his salary, the University is offering perks such as a car allowance, a membership at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, and the option for family to travel on team charter.

Taggart, who was fired in November, halfway into his second season at Florida State, will be replacing Lane Kiffin, who departed for Ole Miss after Saturday’s Conference USA championship game win over UAB.

The reason Florida State fans have to be so enthusiastic is the Taggart was reportedly owed over $17 million on his buyout with four years left on his deal. However, that amount has to be lessened some, if not significantly, since he’s going to immediately take another head coaching job. It’s still not clear how much FSU will still be paying Taggart.

Taggart went just 9-12 in his season and a half with the Noles, which included Florida State suffering their first losing season in over forty years in 2018, when they went 5 – 7. When 2019 began with a collapsing loss at home to Boise State and then a near loss-OT victory over UL-Monroe, it seemed the handwriting was on the wall.

The final blow in Tallahassee came when Taggart’s team looked lifeless and undisciplined in their 27-10 loss to ACC instate rival Miami Novemeber 2nd. He was dismissed the next afternoon.

Taggart came to FSU from Oregon, where he spent one year and went 7-5 before jumping, again, in December of 2017 to take the Noles job. He previously was the coach at USF for four seasons, where after starting 2-10 year one, he reversed that number in his final year (2016) to 10 – 2.

Now that his contract is signed, he’ll be fully a go to pick up recruiting in the state where he’s well known in from his previous tenures in state programs.

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