Advertisement
  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.”


ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. BYU linebacker Max Tooley (31) tackles USF running back Jordan Cronkrite (2) during the second half of last week's game at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Game-day guide: And Will Muschamp’s South Carolina tenure looks almost exactly like his time with the Florida Gators.
  2. Florida quarterback Emory Jones (5) throws a pass against Auburn on Oct. 5 in Gainesville. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Kyle Trask and Emory Jones are thriving at Florida, while Willie Taggart is being tight-lipped at Florida State.
  3. Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) celebrates his touchdown reception with wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (89) and tight end Kyle Pitts (84) in the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) GERALD HERBERT  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: Times college football writer Matt Baker discusses Florida-South Carolina, USF-Navy, FSU-Wake Forest and the conference already out of the College Football Playoff picture.
  4. Florida head coach Dan Mullen prepares to take the field with his players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Some mid-year thoughts on the Florida Gators, FSU Seminoles, USF Bulls, plus some predictions for what happens next.
  5. Clemson's Isaiah Simmons tackles Florida State quarterback Alex Hornibrook, causing a fumble during the first half of Saturday's game in Clemson, S.C. RICHARD SHIRO  |  AP
    The Tigers beat the Seminoles for the fifth straight year, this time in a 45-14 romp.
  6. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher walks the sideline against Arkansas on Sept. 28 in Arlington, Texas. Texas A&M won 31-27. RON JENKINS  |  AP
    Plus more national nuggets, including a bright spot for Lovie Smith’s Illini.
  7. Florida Gators defensive back CJ Henderson (1) wags his finger after breaking up a pass intended for Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Jeff Thomas during the season opener. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Matt Baker: A running back duel at Clemson and why Jordan Cronkrite could be in for another big day for USF. Plus, Tampa Bay Times staff picks for week 7.
  8. There's nothing quite like playing at LSU's Tiger Stadium at night. JONATHAN BACHMAN  |  AP
    How does Clemson’s Death Valley compare to the one at LSU?
  9. Virginia running back Deshawn McClease (33) scores the winning touchdown during the second half against Miami on Saturday in Miami Gardens. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The Hurricanes, who trailed by 28 at one point, score three touchdowns in less then four minutes to tie.
  10. Florida State Seminoles coach Willie Taggart hugs wide receiver Keyshawn Helton as they celebrate after a beating N.C. State on Saturday. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    “If they can profit from their likeness, I think that’s fair," FSU football coach Willie Taggart said last week.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement