Now that Willie Taggart has finalized his coaching staff and is zeroing in on recruiting, there are a few other things he must focus on to get FSU back to its usual dominant ways.
I’ve come up with six talking points; they’re lethally simplistic, reminiscent of what Taggart plans to do this fall with the Gulf Coast Offense.
1. Get everyone in the Moore Center on the same page – his. That includes players, support staff and the administration. The first thing is offseason conditioning, with new strength coach Irele Oderinde getting folks in shape. Reports are that players are experiencing some of the hardest workouts they’ve had. Oderinde is commanding toughness and I like that. I’m hoping he brings back mat drills.
Taggart needs to get players to buy into his idea of “lethal simplicity.” Important on each day for a new coach in his first year is getting the guys he didn’t recruit to buy into his way of thinking. Up-tempo, fast and aggressive must be woven into the very fabric of FSU. His assistants must be extensions of Taggart and the players, in turn, must be extensions of the coaches.
Taggart also must make players feel that he is in it for the long haul. One of the negatives with the drama associated with Jimbo Fisher’s departure and Taggart’s arrival is that the players don’t know what to believe. They lived through a heavy dose of the business side of sports, and folks can’t forget that they are young, impressionable and amateurs. Taggart needs things to change so he can be comfortable, but he also needs to make things as normal as possible until complete buy-in happens.
2. Familiarize Seminole Nation with his nationwide recruiting approach. FSU boosters have been itching for this to happen; at least that’s the vibe I’ve gotten from the times I’ve talked to Seminole clubs. They want to know what is needed and how they can help. That’s why Taggart’s spring speaking tour is important. Folks are way more willing to give to someone who embraces them and converses. Fisher didn’t play golf; Taggart does, and I’ve talked to some boosters who are willing to pay for that opportunity.
Taggart needs to embrace the football alumni. I don’t mean invite guys out to a barbecue for the spring game or just talk to the famous alums. I mean truly continue the vision of the late Monk Bonasorte. Things that have helped rivals recruit in the past is the willingness to have former players around.
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