Warchant - Clark: Maybe some positive can come from all this negative?
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Clark: Maybe some positive can come from all this negative?

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Willie Taggart admitted the negativity surrounding program hurt on the recruiting trail.
Willie Taggart admitted the negativity surrounding program hurt on the recruiting trail.

So what's the best way to make a fan base feel better about its first losing season in four decades?

Well, to go out and get spurned by as many prep quarterbacks as possible, of course.

Oh. No. Wait. That's actually what you don't want to do.

And yet here we are. For the second straight recruiting cycle, Willie Taggart and his staff have failed to sign even one high school quarterback. There are literally thousands of them out there. Hundreds in the state of Florida alone.

And these guys can't even get one of them to commit?

Not only that, but the one they did have committed for months flipped to North Carolina on the first national signing day. And then the other one everyone thought was a lock ended up choosing Maryland on the second one.

Sam Howell went to play for a guy as old as the hills. And Lance LeGendre went to play for a head coach who has a career record of 2-26.

Are these really the kinds of programs Florida State is losing QBs to these days?

It's also not a great sign that Taggart's first signing class at Florida State, which he only had six weeks to put together, wound up with a higher ranking than the one he had a full year to compile.

Neither, of course, was the play on the field. Which, in reality, is the crux of the issue here and the point of this column (all great columnists use hundreds of words before arriving at their point, by the way!).

As good a recruiter as Willie Taggart is -- and he's been great everywhere he's been -- it's really hard to sell that product to elite players. And it's apparently impossible to sell it to quarterback recruits, who look at the offensive line and say to themselves, "I'd rather go play for a head coach who won 2 of 28 games at his first stop, for a program that hasn't won anything ever, in a stadium with a big ol' inflatable turtle in the end zone, and very few fans, in the coldest, slowest conference in America!"


I'll give Taggart credit, though.

On Wednesday, he talked about missing on some kids they definitely wanted to get and tackled the "negativity" issue in a way that I thought was really transparent and genuine.

First, he complimented the players that did end up signing with Florida State. And make no mistake, it might not be a typical Top 5 Florida State class, but there are some guys in this group that can really play.

And who knows? Maybe one can move to QB!

"Considering all the negativity that was out there for those (recruits) to stick with us and want to be here, I thought it said a lot about these young men," Taggart said. "And the kind of guys we want in here, the guys that will be mentally tough and be able to fight through things.


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