Friday, May 25, 2018
Colleges

Taggart likes USF running back recruits

TAMPA — Running backs are a major part of Willie Taggart's offense, so USF's new coach was pleased by the signings of Kissimmee Osceola's Sta'fon McCray and Miami Northwestern's Darius Tice as part of Wednesday's recruiting haul.

The two have similar frames. McCray is 5 feet 11, 205 pounds, and Tice is 6-0, 205.

"I like big guys with little-guy feet. They can go the distance," Taggart said. "Being a running back, you've got to be tough. You've got to be competitive, and I think both guys have all those qualities."

McCray ran for 3,248 yards and 42 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

USF convinced Tice to decommit from Cincinnati, and he chose USF after a campus visit late last week. Tice, who rushed for 1,210 yards and 20 touchdowns and gained 8.8 yards per carry as a senior, said he likes his combination of size and speed.

"I can run by you, run through you, make you miss," Tice said. "I try to mix it up."

HELP ARRIVING: Most plentiful position? Defensive back, where the Bulls signed six players in hopes of shoring up a major concern after poor play and the graduation of both senior starters at cornerback.

"Two interceptions," Taggart said, holding up two fingers to emphasize how many interceptions the Bulls had as a team in 2012, including one by tackle Elkino Watson. "We can't have that."

The best looks to be Lamar Robbins, rated a four-star recruit by 247sports.com who had a high-profile list of finalists: Oklahoma, Louisville, West Virginia and Purdue. Louisville made a late push after he committed last week, but the Bulls held on to him.

"Coach Taggart really wanted to add difference-makers," said assistant Larry Scott, the tackles/tight ends coach who recruits the Miami area. "We wanted to add some guys we thought could make an impact pretty early in their careers."

RANKINGS: Comparing the 2014 Big East lineup, the Bulls had the top class and 54th nationally, according to 247sports.com. On the other hand, by Scout.com's rankings, the Bulls' class ranks fifth in the 2013 Big East and 61st overall.

1-for-3: Among the three stars from Miami USF sought, it got only Robbins. Northeast receiver Stacy Coley chose Miami while Washington offensive lineman Den­ver Kirkland chose Arkansas.

SHORTHANDED: The key to USF's recruiting success? Perhaps Taggart bunkering down in the first week after being hired with only two of his current assistants, Scott (retained from Skip Holtz's staff), and Ray Woodie (brought from his Western Kentucky staff).

"We were in here … all night, watching video, making phone calls, trying to piece things together and get another watch group of kids to get evaluated," said Scott, who was also carried over from Jim Leavitt's staff when Holtz was hired. "It was pretty important to be the bridge for what was going on. (Western Kentucky) recruited Florida so heavily, they knew a lot of the kids, too. We hit it running."

THIS AND THAT: The class includes two sets of prep teammates: offensive linemen Jeremi Hall and Dominique Threatt of Atlanta Tri-Cities and McCray and defensive back Hassan Childs of Kissimmee Osceola in. … Smallest signee? Kicker Emilio Nadelman of Miami Central, who enrolled in January at 165 pounds. That's literally half the size of the 330-pound Hall.

Comments
FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

Former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher should be back in the state next week for the SEC's spring meetings in Destin. It is, to my knowledge, his first big trip back to Florida since leaving for Texas A&M in December.With that in mind, my questi...
Published: 05/25/18
FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

Florida State starting offensive tackle Josh Ball faces a university suspension after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence.The suspension came to light in a Facebook post Monday afternoon by Sandra Sellers, an FSU studen...
Published: 05/22/18
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Published: 05/21/18
Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

One of the first big nuggets from preseason college football magazines is out: Athlon's top 25.The site considers its rankings a prediction of where teams will be at the end of the year, not the beginning.Alabama and Clemson are 1-2 (no shock). Miami...
Published: 05/21/18
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Published: 05/20/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18