Florida State recruiting: 3 Oregon commits new coach Willie Taggart could target immediately
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New staff, new names for Seminoles to pursue
There will be a new era beginning in Tallahassee for the Florida State football program, and Willie Taggart will be the coach entrusted with returning the Seminoles to the mountaintop of college football.
The former Oregon coach had the Ducks primed to land a top 10 recruiting class, but he will now turn his attention toward salvaging a Seminoles class that slipped to No. 32 nationally after losing seven commitments last week due to the uncertainty surrounding former coach Jimbo Fisher.
With Taggart now in place, the Seminoles can begin to look forward to the future.
Part of the reason Taggart caught the attention of the Seminoles administration was because of his recruiting prowess.
Now that he’s getting settled in Tallahassee, which players will he target first?
With a new staff coming to town, the board will likely expand with some new names as well as some familiar faces.
But the first place to start could be with the players he had already lured to Eugene.
4-star CB Isaiah Bolden
Last summer, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Isaiah Bolden committed to Florida State.
He flipped to the Ducks in April. At the time, Florida State’s class was beginning to fill out in the secondary and the Seminoles at one point held five pledges in the secondary.
But in light of Taggart heading to Tallahassee and the fact that the Seminoles lost two of those defensive back commitments last week, Bolden could come into play again.
He rates as the nation’s No. 23 corner and the No. 209 player overall in the 2018 cycle per 247Sports and he has the type of size and athleticism that most colleges covet among corners.
The Seminoles also hold a commitment from one of his prep teammates in 3-star defensive end Chaz Neal.
If the new staff pushes for him to join them in Tallahassee, it could make way for Bolden’s journey in his recruitment to end up where it began.
4-star DE Malcolm Lamar
Malcolm Lamar is a new name altogether for Florida State, but it’s no secret that the old staff wanted to add at least one more pass rusher to the class.
That need could is now amplified since the Seminoles recently lost 3-star defensive end pledge Patrick Joyner — who flipped to rival Miami.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Lamar does not hold a Florida State offer, but that could change since he is currently committed to the Ducks.
Lamar rates as the nation’s No. 11 strong side defensive end and the No. 269 player overall in the 2018 cycle per 247Sports.
This could be a case of need matching fit if Taggart and his staff begin to pursue him for the Seminoles.
4-star WR Warren Thompson
If there’s one player on this list that Florida State has been pursuing for the longest period of time, it’s Thompson.
Fisher’s staff was actively trying to get him to flip from his current Oregon pledge. Before he committed to the Ducks, a good number of observers in the recruiting community thought he would end up in Tallahassee, as evidenced by his 247Sports Crystal Ball page.
Another major need for the Seminoles in this class is at receiver and they currently have just 2 prospects committed. That number could reach as high as 5 by National Signing Day.
The 6-foot-3, 196-pound Thompson ranks as the nation’s No. 33 receiver and the No. 150 player overall in the 2018 cycle.
Even with his commitment to the Ducks, he has entertained the thought of taking an official visit Florida State, as detailed by Andrew Ivins of InsideTheU.
He’s gone back and forth on his decision on if he will sign in the early signing period, although Taggart’s exit from Eugene is likely going to factor into that.
Given the need that Florida State has at receiver and his comfort level with Taggart, it certainly appears that the Seminoles will be involved in Thompson’s process moving forward.
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