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With a leg like Calvary Christian’s Aidan Shahriari’s, FSU was bound to notice

Even with a new Seminoles staff in place, coach Mike Norvell liked what he saw and offered Shahriari a preffered walk-on spot.
Calvary Christian kicker Aidan Shahriari, here with Florida State football coach Mike Norvell, will be a preferred walkon at the school. [AIDAN SHAHRIARI  |  Special to the Times]
Calvary Christian kicker Aidan Shahriari, here with Florida State football coach Mike Norvell, will be a preferred walkon at the school. [AIDAN SHAHRIARI | Special to the Times]
Published Feb. 5
Updated Feb. 5

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.


  1. The Jesuit High bench celebrates a home run hit by BJ Graham during a scrimmage against Lake Wales on Feb. 11.
  2. Florida State's Elizabeth Mason (5) is on deck Friday as fans pack the stands and line up along the fence during the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater.
  3. The high school baseball season is in full swing starting with Monday's Steve Georgiadis Memorial Tournament at Seminole High.
  4. Team USA's Bubba Nickles gets a hit against the Liberty University Flames at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational on Wednesday.
  5. Shorecrest's Samuel Idinge poses with a team award. Created by graduated senior Brendan Smith last year "from PVC found in the locker room and a soccer ball," each gold ring indicates a team victory. Saturday's region semifinal win over Indian Rocks Christian will add ring  No. 15.
  6. Jesuit beats Land O' Lakes 4-3 on Saturday night in the Class 5A region semifinals.
  7. Liberty coach Dot Richardson watches her team from the dugout before facing Team USA at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational.
  8. Tampa Catholic senior Kobe Knox led all scorers with 28 points in an 85-57 victory over district rival Lakewood on Friday night.
  9. St. Petersburg's Alexa Goldberg, seen here from a game earlier this season, notches the final PK on Friday to send the Green Devils to the region final.
  10. From left, Seminole's Parker Conitz, Joey Schweitzer, Rafael Oriano and Sam Denor pose with the Class 6A, District 10 trophy Friday.
  11. A tight fourth quarter vs. Seffner Christian on Friday night goes Berkeley Prep's way in part because of a key 6-0 run.
  12. Land O' Lakes senior Mekhi Perry, seen here in a game against Zephyrhills earlier this season, scores 34 against the Bulldogs in Friday's district title match.