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Take Two: Can Taggart salvage FSU's mediocre 2018 class?

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the network of team sites.

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Jaiden Woodbey
Jaiden Woodbey (Nick Lucero/


Florida State finds itself in an unusual position - the No. 45 recruiting class nationally, seventh in the ACC - and without a major push in the Early Signing Period it could have been much worse.

One of the reasons first-year coach Willie Taggart was hired away from Oregon after only one season was because of his recruiting prowess so he and his staff have a lot of work to do leading up to National Signing Day.

This is still Florida State, though, and the Seminoles can still recruit so things should be fine but the margin for error is next to nothing. There are still plenty of Southeast targets for Florida State to pick off – and some probably have the Seminoles as their leader heading into January – and Taggart has tremendous connections nationally to haul in a fantastic recruiting class. Getting five-star safety Jaiden Woodbey from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco to flip from Ohio State was huge.

But with 10 total commitments, Florida State has a lot of work to do, especially since Clemson has four five-star signees and Miami is killing it in recruiting as well. Will this be a lost recruiting class? It seems as if former coach Jimbo Fisher didn’t put much effort into loading up early this recruiting cycle. Can Taggart save things in Tallahassee with a big January?


“Not a lot of concern from the FSU side. FSU was able to snatch a five-star in Jaiden Woodbey and four-star DB Isaiah Bolden in basically one-and-a-half weeks. It was also able to sign AJ Lytton and DB Asante Samuel, who looked to be teetering toward Miami. There's a lot of buzz going into January from the Early Signing Period.

“Naturally, there are some huge targets out there in DB Brendan Radley-Hiles, WR Warren Thompson, RB Jashaun Corbin and QB James Foster, not to mention five-star corner Patrick Surtain. If that short span from Taggart is any indication in the early signing period, FSU seems to be a major team to watch for NSD. Taggart has ignited this class already.

"I feel FSU is in a good spot with Thompson, Malcolm Lamar and likely Corbin. Not to mention his new additions to the staff could take the ‘Noles recruiting to another level, with new coaches that bring highly-regarded targets that will heavily consider FSU.” – Langston


“They can salvage things. They can’t afford any misses from here on out. They need to be pretty perfect. Some of the guys in-state, they’re not really heavily involved with. I know Surtain they’re not involved with, Tyson Campbell they’re not involved with, Nick Petit-Frere, they’re not a leader for him. They’re going to have to go out-of-state to get elite players. Woodbey will help. They might be able to pull another surprise and then next year they’re going to have to double down on the state of Florida and do a better job.

“It’s just such a difficult transition since it seems Jimbo stopped recruiting in August and he left Taggart with not much to work with. I’m going to give Taggart a pass for this recruiting class.” – Farrell