It was a whirlwind couple of months for Florida State coach Willie Taggart after he arrived in December.
Taggart had to put together a staff and a recruiting class, as well as settling himself and his family into Tallahassee.
Since signing day, Taggart’s had a little time to step back and get things organized before spring football practice, and he’s also taken the time to get to know the members of FSU’s athletic department along with the rest of his coaching staff.
Last week, the FSU coaching staff held a meet-and-greet for the local high school coaches to help them get to know the new members of the FSU staff.
“It was an awesome idea on their part just to have an event like that,” Leon coach Garrett Jahn told the Tallahassee Democrat.
“I thought it was really neat to get the invite to go over there for a couple of hours in a real laid back atmosphere where coaches could talk a little football and meet the whole new staff.”
All of the Leon County high schools were represented at the meeting as well as coaches from Wakulla, Madison County, and Suwannee.
The Seminole roster has quite a few players from those schools already on it with redshirt senior fullback Johnathan Vickers (North Florida Christian), junior wide receiver Keith Gavin (Wakulla), redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Cedric Wood (Godby), freshman long snapper Grant Glennon (Lincoln), and freshman linebacker Amari Gainer on scholarship.
FSU is also recruiting locally for the 2019 class with Madison County cornerback Travis Jay and Florida High safety Raymond Woodie III — son of FSU linebackers coach Raymond Woodie Jr. — as high priorities for the class.
“It’s their lifeline so to speak and everything in life is about relationships,” Madison County coach Mike Coe said.
FSU didn’t just invite the head coaches to the meeting, but also invited the assistant coaches from the staffs to join them.
“I brought all my staff members,” Florida High coach Jarrod Hickman said.
“Most of the coaches brought staff members. They basically said whoever could make it just let us know. It was very laid back and a great chance to just go around the room and meet everybody. I know my coaches were excited to meet with the position coaches that they work with and get to know them.”
The meeting lasted a couple of hours, and coach Taggart and his staff were able to make a good impression on the coaches that were at the meeting.
“I’ve been able to meet coach Frey since he recruits our area so we’ve been able to build a relationship with him, and then to get over there to meet with coach Taggart and listen to him and his staff,” Suwannee coach Kyler Hall said.
“I think they’ve got a great staff put together and there’s some new excitement there. I was very impressed with what they had to say.”
This type of meet-and-greet isn’t something that happens very often.
Chiles coach Kevin Pettis has been in the high school coaching ranks since 1994, and he’s never been to an event like this.
“I’ve been a head coach for 17 years and this the first time it’s happened for me,” Pettis said.
“It’s refreshing because in today’s college football everything is secret and hidden. It’s an us against the world mentality. For him to invite everybody in is refreshing. It was a good deal.”