One day after agreeing to become Florida State's next head football coach, Willie Taggart was introduced to the Seminoles' fan base during an introductory press conference Wednesday morning.
By all accounts, Taggart could not have made a better first impression. Here are 15 things we learned during that press conference and what they could mean for the Seminoles going forward.
1. A true Seminole
We all had heard the stories. We knew he grew up a Florida State fan and that he came from a family of Seminoles. But until we heard him speak on Wednesday, we didn’t know how genuine his feelings for FSU were.
"If you were living in my house, you'd have thought everybody in that house graduated from FSU, and none of us did," Taggart said. "But it goes to show you just what it meant to me growing up and our family and how we felt about FSU. ... I wanted to come here and play. I guess I wasn't good enough to get a scholarship to play here. But no matter where I went -- I went to Western Kentucky University and graduated from there and had a great career and really got started there. But no matter where I went, the Seminoles were always a part of me."
2. Priority No. 1 will be recruiting
Taggart is known as one of the top recruiters in the country, and he’ll have a great opportunity to show his worth over the next two weeks. It’s no secret that FSU’s 2018 signing class has fallen apart during the uncertainty surrounding Jimbo Fisher’s future, and Taggart made it clear that his first order of business will be trying to “salvage” what he can from this class. On Monday night, after making an appearance at FSU’s men’s basketball game against Loyola, Taggart was already heading out on the recruiting trail. There’s no time to waste – the early signing period begins on Dec. 20.
“There's a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time," he said. "I plan on tonight to get out and get to working and try to salvage this recruiting class. Again, I know, growing up, guys wanted to be a 'Nole. So I know there's a lot of 'Noles out there that want to be here. We're going to go out and find them and find the right guys, the right guys that are going to come here and do the right things.
3. Evaluating players and coaches will come next
While everyone wants to know exactly what Taggart’s staff is going to look like – especially since it will be crucial for recruiting -- it sounds like it might be a few weeks before that picture comes into total focus. Taggart made it clear on Wednesday that he’s going to take advantage of FSU’s bowl practices to evaluate not only the Seminoles’ players, but also the assistant coaches. And with some of his former assistants still preparing the Ducks for their bowl game, it doesn’t seem like anything will be formalized in the next few days – other than maybe an announcement that Odell Haggins will remain on staff.
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