Taggart happy to see ex-teammate Frazier enshrined
Tuesday's news that former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier was headed to the College Football Hall of Fame had a special meaning at USF's football offices, where head coach Willie Taggart has known Frazier since they were high school teammates at Bradenton Manatee.
"I had the opportunity to learn under him as his backup. Learned a lot from him," Taggart said by phone Tuesday. "Tommie was so highly competitive, which I think is the reason why he had so much success. He always wanted to be the best, didn't want anyone to be better than him."
Taggart was Frazier's backup at Manatee, stepping in for one game against Brandon when Frazier injured his knee. He remembers playing well, and getting both congratulations from Frazier and a reminder of that competitive spirit.
"After playing that game, Tommie told me 'You better enjoy it while you can, because I'll be back next week.' Sure enough, he was," Taggart said.
Taggart later led Manatee to a state title in 1992 when Frazier was a freshman at Nebraska, and the two have remained friends; when Taggart got the head coaching job at USF, he got a congratulatory text from Frazier, happy to hear he was returning close to home.
When Frazier started turning heads at Nebraska, leading the Cornhuskers to three straight national championship games, Taggart wasn't surprised, because he was making the same big plays he had at Manatee, just on a national level.
"He did the same things you saw, like he'd been doing them all his life. It was just awesome to see that on national television," Taggart said. "That run against Florida that I think everyone remembers, it was awesome."