With the news breaking Sunday night that Oregon gave a new deal and huge raise to defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt to keep him from bolting to Tallahassee for the same position at FSU, it was a serious blow to new FSU coach Willie Taggart.
And it further adds to the current fluctuation and almost chaos going on with the former FSU staff members under Jimbo Fisher, and the guys Taggart had hoped, and still hopes, to bring with him from Eugene.
Let’s start first with the obvious: not getting Leavitt means there is a huge void and hire to come at defensive coordinator. That is a huge priority at the moment.
We know who it won’t be.
Charles Kelly, the current Seminoles DC, may be hated more than the flu by Noles fans right now. So even though Kelly for the moment is still on staff and part of FSU practices heading towards the Independence Bowl game with Southern Miss, he won’t be sticking around. Kelly reportedly interviewed for the defensive coordinator job at Colorado State last week. He will clearly be somewhere else, including joining Fisher, who has a massive assistant’s pool of money, at Texas A&M in some capacity.
So, Taggart’s search for that has to be ramping up this week.
Meanwhile, speaking of FSU assistants and the Aggies, Fisher has already brought Tim Brewster, Dameyune Craig and Jay Graham with him already to Texas. Currently, his former Noles staff members: Offensive line coach Rick Trickett, wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey, linebackers coach Bill Miller, defensive ends coach Brad Lawing are also still with Kelly at FSU and planning to coach the bowl game.
Also, currently, defensive tackles and interim head coach for the bowl game, Odell Haggins is not only leading practice, etc., but has been seen over and over again on social media in photos with Taggart with recruits in their homes, etc. Haggins will likely sticking around and could get a prominent role/raise.
Taggart has already brought two assistants from Eugene with him in tight ends coach Telly Lockette, and this report in Oregon says Ducks running backs coach Donte Pimpleton will come to Tallahassee in the same role.
It’s also believed that current Ducks special teams coordinator and recruiting director, Raymond Woodie, will also join Taggart shortly.
So, the new Noles boss has some staff members in Tallahassee to choose from, some guys from Oregon, who now that they played and lost their bowl game Saturday are free contractually to leave and come with Taggart, and some other openings to fill.
Rest assured Taggart has coaches (and their agents) calling him, too.
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