CLEARWATER — While most Florida State fans weren’t too upset when Willie Taggart was fired as head coach in November, Aidan Shahriari wasn’t one of them. A senior placekicker at Calvary Christian, Shahriari had been in contact with Taggart and his coaching staff and was hoping to sign with the school.
Then the staff was mostly wiped out.
“I was devastated," Shahriari said. “That’s where I really wanted to go."
So Shahriari had to get new coach Mike Norvell and his staff interested all over again. That turned out to not be that difficult.
Shahriari was invited to a postseason kicking camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton called the National Senior Challenge. At the camp, with cameras rolling, Shahriari made a 71-yard field goal.
That tape reached Norvell in Tallahassee. A visit was set up and a few days later he was offered preferred walk-on status to compete for FSU’s wide-open place kicking job.
Shahriari was joined at Wednesday’s signing ceremony by seven teammates, including Mike Lofton (UCF), David Crossan (Army) and Shelton Quarles Jr. (Samford).
“I had no idea where I was going to go," Shahriari said. “I wasn’t really highly recruited until the end of this year. But it finally worked out."
A four-year starter with the Warriors, Shahriari made 8 of 9 field goals as a senior and had a long of 53 yards. If he does earn the starting job, he will be the first kicker not named Aguayo to kick for the Seminoles in eight years.
Calvary Christian coach Reggie Crume has no doubt he can kick in college.
“He’s an unbelievable worker," Crume said. “He’s going to be kicking on Sundays one day. I’ll be asking him for tickets."
For now, he’s just trying to make the roster. He admitted that as a freshman he thought being a kicker in college was a long shot.
“It was my dream but I didn’t think it would happen," he said.