1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Florida State Seminoles

FSU’s Willie Taggart delivers updates with a coy, upbeat attitude

At the program’s media day, the coach appeared to be in a great mood
Florida State Seminoles coach Willie Taggart often wears a smile, but he seemed particularly upbeat at IMG Academy last week, and on Sunday during the program's media day. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Published Aug. 19

If Willie Taggart’s demeanor reflects how the Florida State football team will play this season, Seminole fans should be confident.

Taggart answered reporters’ questions with a playful attitude on Sunday during the program’s Media Day. The coy approach isn’t exactly new for Taggart, but it reflects his outlook about rebounding from last year’s 5-7 season.

One of the key questions involves who will start at quarterback: graduate transfer Alex Hornibrook, redshirt sophomore James Blackman or Louisville transfer Jordan Travis. Asked when he would announce who will start in the season opener against Boise State on Aug. 31, Taggart answered wryly.

“Before the Boise State game. Before we play it,” he said with a smile. “I promise you we will have a starting quarterback, and I promise you we will announce it before we play that game.

“When we feel like it’s right and best that we do it, we’ll do it.”

Taggart again flashed a grin when asked which true freshmen will contribute. He hesitated, saying if he didn’t name every freshmen capable of playing, he would get in trouble. Then he proceeded to list a dozen players, including linebacker Kevin Glenn and offensive lineman Ira Henry.

“I named a few for you,” Taggart quipped. “Fellas, if I didn’t name you, I still love you and I’m going to get you, I promise.”

Two established players also garnered inquiries. Both defensive tackle Marvin Wilson and receiver Tamorrion Terry have nursed knee injuries this preseason, but Taggart has repeatedly said they will be ready for Boise State. Asked again on Sunday, he smiled and said, “You don’t believe me, do you?”

After a bit of laughter, the reporter said he believed but fans were still asking.

“Those guys will be ready,” Taggart said. “We’re getting there. I think you’ll probably see a little more out of both of them this upcoming week. They both are rehabbing really well.”

Perhaps Taggart’s enthusiasm rises not only from the normal optimism of preseason, but his belief this is a new team and with some coaching staff changes and adjustments, perhaps a new program. That’s certainly what he’s selling.

"I like where our football team is, I like where our staff is, and we’ve got two more weeks, and we’ll continue to get better.

“I’m going to be excited to see our guys go out and compete and show you all what the new 2019 FSU football team is. Can’t wait.”


  1. Florida State coach Willie Taggart reacts during the first half against Boise State in Tallahassee on Aug. 31. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    New quarterbacks and coordinators might explain the conference’s struggles at the outset of 2019.
  2. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
Quarterback Kyle Trask (11) practices throws at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, December 29, 2016. University of Florida held practice for the Outback Bowl at Jesuit High School.  Times
    The former Gators coach who recruited Trask to Florida isn’t surprised that Trask didn’t transfer.
  3. Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins (3) celebrates 2-point conversion with wide receiver Terrell Chatman (9) during the team's NCAA college football game against Florida State in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Virginia won 31-24. ANDREW SHURTLEFF  |  AP
    Florida State is in the red zone at the end of the game but can’t capitalize.
  4. USF, Florida, FSU and more games on the air.
  5. Kentucky quarterback Sawyer Smith (12) throws the ball during the NCAA college football game between Kentucky and Eastern Michigan, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Lexington, Ky. BRYAN WOOLSTON  |  AP
    Miami’s starting quarterback has a weird role in whom the Gators will face Saturday at Kentucky.
  6. Sep. 13• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State's Cam Akers (3) runs for a touchdown during the first quarter of the season opener against Boise State. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    There’s a new No. 1 on this voter’s weekly list.
  7. Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen (41) takes aim for Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) during the third quarter of last year's game in Gainesville. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Matt Baker: The marquee game is apparently Iowa-Iowa State. Hooray. Plus, our week 3 predictions.
  8. Sep. 12• Florida State Seminoles
    Then-USF coach Jim Leavitt argues a call with referees against UCF during the third quarter of a 2008 game. USF won 31-24. Tampa Bay Times
    It took longer than expected, but Willie Taggart has finally reunited with another former USF coach.
  9. Former USF coach Jim Leavitt, seen here during his days as Colorado defensive coordinator, is headed back to Florida. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
    The former USF coach is joining the Seminoles staff as a defensive analyst.
  10. Florida State coach Willie Taggart, center, confers with officials concerning a call in the fourth quarter against Louisiana-Monroe. STEVE CANNON  |  AP
    Some coaches are upset after ugly wins. Taggart wasn’t that way at USF.