Florida State’s ability to turn the program around under Willie Taggart will coincide with how successful this staff is at evaluating recruits and securing commitments.
Sure, other factors like development and in-game strategy are important as well. These areas must be improved after a 5-7 campaign, but the lifeblood of any good program is recruiting. Taggart knows this and it’s proven to be a strength of his throughout his coaching career.
As we saw in 2018, Taggart can secure top-tier talent and he’s also a sharp talent evaluator. Many of the bright spots in a disappointing season came in the form of first-year players who flashed throughout the campaign. In some cases, former blue-chip recruits like Jaiden Woodbey and Asante Samuel Jr. managed to carve out significant roles. But under-the-radar recruits such as Keyshawn Helton and Anthony Grant also found themselves playing regularly, and they appear to be fixtures for the future.
Noles247 goes through all 21 of FSU’s first-year players to take a look at how they performed in 2018 and how they project moving forward.