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Former Nole Bryant McFadden excited by start of Willie Taggart era

Willie Taggart

Bryant McFadden played in 27 games for Florida State University from 2002-2004 totaling over 100 tackles and recording four interceptions. McFadden would go on to be selected in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers where he would be a part of two Super Bowl winning teams in 2005 and then again in 2008.

McFadden, who now works in the sports media field as an analyst for cbssports.com, joined 1010XL Radio in Jacksonville to discuss Willie Taggart’s first months on the job in Tallahassee.

“I was excited when we hired Willie Taggart because he is a Florida State guy,” McFadden told 1010XL. “He loved Florida State growing up and when he was coaching at other universities, he still had a love for Florida State.

“This is a guy that is rooted and grounded in the program and he is willing to do whatever it takes for him to be successful and for his program to be successful. So far, everything has been going accordingly. I think he has exceeded expectations because remember when he took over, the program was kind of going in an unknown direction.”

The unknown direction was the result of Jimbo Fisher’s sudden exit.

“With how Jimbo Fisher left, because recruits loved Jimbo and they didn’t quite know what Willie Taggart and his staff would have in place for them, but he was still able to get top recruits that were on Florida State’s radar and top recruits that were not on Florida State’s radar,” McFadden said of Taggart’s first job-well-done as FSU coach. “When you look at the commits that we have for 2019, it’s looking real good

“I’m excited and I think the boosters and the fans, everybody is excited, because so far he has exceeded expectations and he has done a phenomenal job on the road recruiting. Now it’s about putting that same effort out, as far as game-by-game.”

RELATED: My favorite Florida State football traditions.

One of the biggest questions for Florida State as the 2018 season rapidly approaches is who will assume the reins at the quarterback position, James Blackman or Deondre Francois?

McFadden was asked, assuming injuries are not an issue, who would he go with under center?

“That’s a good question and I think I would side with Deondre Francois,” McFadden said. “Even though he was a redshirt freshman, compared to James Blackman being a true freshman, he had a better year and as a player, he may be just a little ahead of Blackman right now.

“I would love to see Blackman continue to learn and develop off the football field with his body, because last year James Blackman may have been 169 pounds playing division-one football. He competed, but I feel he needs to continue to improve in that element.

“I would love to see both guys compete and battle it out, but I do believe that Francois should have the edge.”

(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)

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