School in the News: Florida State

School in the News: Florida State


November 5, 2019
Willie Taggart (image via SI)

As most/all of you know by now, Florida State fired head coach Willie Taggart after a 27-10 loss to Miami this past weekend. That dropped the team to 4-5 this year after a 5-7 year in 2018, bringing Taggart’s record to 9-12 over a little less than two years.

One way this MAY impact Michigan is in the form of Taggart himself, who previously coached under Jack Harbaugh and with Jim Harbaugh. Taggart was Harbaugh’s running backs coach at Stanford and helped produce Toby Gerhart’s Doak Walker Award-winning season. Taggart went on to become the head coach at South Florida, then Oregon, then FSU. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Taggart find himself as an analyst at Michigan or even taking a position coaching role in 2020. This is way out in the future, but Jay Harbaugh has coached other positions (tight ends, special teams), so if there’s a staff shakeup after this season, Michigan does have some flexibility to bring in Taggart.

On the recruiting front, Florida State has already lost a couple commits, including Deerfield Beach (FL) Deerfield Beach running back Jaylan Knighton, who’s from the same high school as a Denard Robinson.

Other FSU commits with Michigan offers:

Michigan would like to add another running back in the 2020 class, and Toafili was a primary target before picking the Seminoles. The Wolverines were also making a decent effort with Douglas, who’s a speedy slot/running back/returner.

20 comments

  1. DonAZ
    Comments: 476
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Nov 05, 2019 at 11:41 AM

    Wow … fired in the middle of the second year. I can’t imagine what coach would seek to step into that environment. Someone will, but it’s going to be an uphill climb for whoever fills the role.

  2. 17years
    Comments: 277
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Nov 05, 2019 at 5:31 PM

    Willie Taggart is the man that built Toby Gerhart? GET HIM ON THE COACHING STAFF!!!
    I remember Toby Gerhart very well. He was a beast of beasts! He dominated every game. His biggest games were against the toughest teams. He had over 200 against Notre Dame. He tore it up every week. It was amazing!
    If that is from Willie Taggart coaching him, then yes, please, Michigan find a way to make him the RBs coach. Him and Ed Warinner working together– that looks OMG level promising!
    Jay Harbaugh wouldn’t have to leave. He could simply be moved to an off the field analyst, and spend time learning from Taggart. There is no shame in that. It would be great for his career. He’s very young, and still needs to learn.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3321
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 06, 2019 at 8:19 AM

      You mean the guy who has helped to coach up a guy setting freshman records and a 3-star position-switcher guy who has had a few 100-yard games?

      The ONLY reason people are anti-Jay Harbaugh is because he’s Jim Harbaugh’s son. If his name were James Jefferson, nobody would be saying anything about the running backs coach at this point other than “Good job.”

      • Avatar
        Comments: 338
        Joined: 12/24/2016
        INTJohn
        Nov 06, 2019 at 8:48 AM

        Jay Harbaugh may be a good asst coach/rob coach NOW but THEE ONLY reason he was hired 5 years ago in the first place is because he’s Jim Harbaugh’s son.

        What other 25ish year old with zero experience as an asst coach at any FCS or FBS university would Jim Harbaugh have hired; especially when Jimmy Boi was at the time spewing forth all of his ‘Meritocracy’ lore? Hypocrisy at its finest.

        He’s been on board now for 5 seasons and if he’s morphed into some semblance of a decent coach – Good For Michigan Football. But repeat – he only got the job in the first place because of Neppotism so Manup and take the criticism because of Nepotism.

        And he only got his previous analyst stint cause his uncle is HC of the Ravens. Jay is what 30ish years old now? And his entire adult life he has yet to stand on his own 2 feet as a MAn but rather he’s still sucking on Daddy & Uncle’s tits.

        Maybe 20 years from now the dude turns into the next greatest coach of all time but right now its hard to have much respect for the 30ish year old ‘kid’………

        Jus sayin…………..INTJohn

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3321
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 06, 2019 at 8:59 AM

          I’m not going to psychoanalyze you based on your comments on the internet, but I think this is some personal bias shining through.

          Regardless of how he got the job in 2015, maybe Jay Harbaugh likes Michigan. Maybe he likes working with family. Maybe the whole Harbaugh clan is a pretty tight-knit group. I mean, Jim worked with Jack, and he went to college where Jack had worked, and Jack followed Jim to Ann Arbor, etc. It’s entirely possible that Jay Harbaugh doesn’t want to step out on his own because he’s perfectly happy making a good living, coaching at a great school, and being near his family. One problem coaches always talk about is uprooting their families and moving all over the country every two or three years. If you have a family full of coaches and can spend time with them – and oh by the way be pretty good at your job while doing it – then why not?

          At this point Jay Harbaugh has done nothing to suggest he’s incapable of doing his job and doing it well, other than the fact that he works for his dad. That’s an INTJohn problem, not a Jay Harbaugh problem.

          • 17years
            Comments: 277
            Joined: 2/6/2018
            17years
            Nov 06, 2019 at 8:00 PM

            “At this point Jay Harbaugh has done nothing to suggest he’s incapable of doing his job and doing it well,”
            I can’t agree. Can we point out how many blocks have been missed by RBs? Or how coaches were finally able to really praise n RB, Zack Charbonnet, for blocking well, not missing any, but Charbonnet came into Michigan already blocking good, he wasn’t taught by Jay Harbaugh.
            And there are no RBs in the pros from Michigan with Jay Harbaugh coaching them.
            What else do you need to see issue in his coaching?
            Are you sure it isn’t you that is biased about Jay Harbaugh?

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3321
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Nov 06, 2019 at 8:08 PM

              The guys who have missed blocks aren’t playing much, are they? Christian Turner, Ty Isaac, etc. have played less than perhaps they could have/should have, because of those issues. Every team has guys who are better at blocking than others. No team is full of great pass pro backs; occasionally you find a team where they’re all bad at pass pro, and those are usually bad teams.

              Michigan has not done a good job of recruiting running backs. That’s just the flat-out truth. Most of the guys they got either haven’t had much NFL potential (De’Veon Smith, Karan Higdon, etc.) or haven’t stayed out of trouble (O’Maury Samuels, Chris Evans, etc.). That’s not all on the running backs coach. That’s on the staff as a whole, and/or the head coach.

              • 17years
                Comments: 277
                Joined: 2/6/2018
                17years
                Nov 06, 2019 at 9:33 PM

                I don’t know, most people say they don’t want to lose Jay Harbaugh because he’s such a valuable recruiter.
                I don’t say. But almost everyone does.
                I’ll take Willie Taggart, please.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 10
          Joined: 11/3/2015
          trross1200
          Nov 06, 2019 at 9:03 AM

          Where and at what level would you have been okay with Jay Harbaugh starting his coaching career?

      • 17years
        Comments: 277
        Joined: 2/6/2018
        17years
        Nov 06, 2019 at 7:50 PM

        “You mean the guy who has helped to coach up…”
        These things never came close to happening before Ed Warinner.

        “The ONLY reason people are anti-Jay Harbaugh is because he’s Jim Harbaugh’s son.”
        That could be true of some, maybe even of many. But it’s not true of me. I’m not anti-Jay Harbaugh.

        “nobody would be saying anything about the running backs coach at this point other than “Good job.””
        “Fair job.” Not enough. Not elite. Elite is needed. Or go home.

        _________________________________________

        And, relax man.

      • 17years
        Comments: 277
        Joined: 2/6/2018
        17years
        Nov 06, 2019 at 8:12 PM

        Thunder
        Nov 06, 2019 at 8:19 AM

        You mean the guy who has helped to coach up a guy setting freshman records and a 3-star position-switcher guy who has had a few 100-yard games?

        The ONLY reason people are anti-Jay Harbaugh is because he’s Jim Harbaugh’s son. If his name were James Jefferson, nobody would be saying anything about the running backs coach at this point other than “Good job.”
        —————————————————————————
        Somethings not sitting right with you saying this. You think Jay Harbaugh is a better RBs coach than Willie Taggart?

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3321
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 06, 2019 at 8:36 PM

          You have a habit of arguing by putting words in other people’s mouths. I don’t have time for that.

          • 17years
            Comments: 277
            Joined: 2/6/2018
            17years
            Nov 06, 2019 at 8:41 PM

            Ok, I’ll say it this way. Why didn’t you make it clear that you wouldn’t want Willie Taggart to replace Jay Harbaugh because he isn’t better?

          • 17years
            Comments: 277
            Joined: 2/6/2018
            17years
            Nov 06, 2019 at 8:50 PM

            “You have a habit of arguing by putting words in other people’s mouths.”

            Show where I have done that.
            And how did I do in in what I said there?

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 05, 2019 at 7:33 PM

    “very young, and still needs to learn.”

    Yes.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 06, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    A post about Willie Taggert seems like a dubious choice of venue for airing one’s concerns about Jim Harbaugh’s latest young unproven RB coach.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5452
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 06, 2019 at 11:42 AM

      I should say FORMERLY unproven.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 06, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    Since it’s Wednesday and Thunder is dealing with life-type-things I’m going to throw out my hack version of awards.

    LSMOTG Offense
    Running QB. I realize running Shea is the 2019 version of Carr’s “scoring offense”. I also realize that McCaffrey seems to risk injury every time he runs. Still there’s 2 games left before the big one and Michigan is going to need the QB runs to win it. Let’s work the kinks out a bit more with Shea against MSU and let’s maybe look at a red-zone package with McCaffrey. I love the direct snap QB run a lot more than the direct snap RB run since the number of blockers stills seems relevant and Shea shuffling outside isn’t fooling anyone. Furthermore, McCaffrey’s a talented runner whose arm strength is not an issue from close in.

    LSLOTG Offense. Eubanks. Fine player but McKeon is the better blocker. Eubanks should be the 3rd down receiving threat while McKeon is in on running downs. This is really just a way to get at complaining about 2TE sets at the expense of a 3rd WR.

    LSMOTG Defense. Dwumfour. I’m glad the 3-man line is working out but MSU is going to try to ram it down our throats and OSU will poke at every weakness. Our defense needs to be ready to throw different looks at the Buckeyes. That means getting Dwumfour going as a run-defender and responsible pass rusher. Could keep Kemp and Hutchinson fresh also.

    LSLOTG Defense. Josh Ross. I know he’s not playing right now but let’s keep it this way. Hold on to the red-shirt option. Have him ready to sub in for OSU if needed. That is the season.

  6. 17years
    Comments: 277
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Nov 06, 2019 at 8:08 PM

    I can’t see how you could have made this post without having a feeling in you to begin with that Jay Harbaugh isn’t doing a good enough job.

  7. Lanknows
    Comments: 5452
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 07, 2019 at 3:21 PM

    I would be extremely surprised if Taggart took a college position coaching role in 2020. He’s overqualified for that.

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