NoleGameday

Social Media Changes the Game for FSU Football

Haylee Blitch/NoleGameday

Its official! Florida State’s new head coach, Willie Taggart, has finalized his selections and has added some new people to the Noles’ coaching staff. Some names to include are Walt Bell (Offensive Coordinator/QB’s), Greg Frey (Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line), David Kelly (Wide Receivers), Donte’ Pimpleton (Running Backs), Mark Snyder (Defensive Ends), Telly Lockette (Tight Ends), Raymond Woodie (Linebackers), Harlon Barnett (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs), Alonzo Hampton (Special Teams Coordinator), and of course, Odell Haggins (Associate Head Coach/Defensive Tackles). Coach Taggart’s main goal was to bring in the best coaches for the program. He wanted the ones who fit into his vision the most. Which seems to be working out for him pretty well as he has already scored a top 15 recruiting class after only having two months to solidify #Tribe18. He has also just about completely won over the entire fan base as well. The fans and the team are hungry to get back on track to what Florida State football is all about. Coach Taggart and his new staff seem to have that same mindset, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to bring FSU back to its glory days.

It has only been two months and Taggart’s staff has already been proven successful on the recruiting trail. They were trying to make up for lost time and find new Seminoles to bring home to Tallahassee and found exactly who they were looking for. One thing that has incredibly helped recruiting is the new coaches’ use of social media. We all know how teenage recruits are. They desire the fame that comes from platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Having that verified blue check, thousands of followers, and lots of interactions on their tweets are important to some of these big-time recruits. As it should be with the age they are at.

This is all very new for Florida State. Seeing Coaches interact with the fans on social media, posting updates that hint on recruiting or even retweeting a picture with the recruits is very different from what ‘Noles fans are used to seeing. Or, not seeing at all. While previous Florida State coaches were not really around for the social media age, it has been a key factor in recruiting for the past 5-10 years or so. The lack of social media use from previous coaches may have been a huge reason why players and prospective players were feeling that the Noles’ football program was a bit outdated.

Luckily, Florida State’s brand new and upbeat coaching staff has decided to change the culture up quite a bit.

This newfound use of social media has and will continue to drastically change the culture at Florida State. Recruits love that feeling of seeing their potential new coach retweet them and getting all of the positive responses back from the fan base. Like anyone, it makes them feel special and wanted. Which is important when trying to decide which university you should spend the next 3-4 years of your life at.

Because of the new use of social media, everyone is beginning to see a lot more of what goes on behind the scenes. Coach Taggart is hands down the best at using GIFs on Twitter. He would often drop hints days before National Signing Day with a gif of DJ Khaled’s “another one” meme or a “ring, ring, ring, great call for the Noles!” tweet meaning someone had verbally committed to Florida State over the phone. The fan base ate it up like it was the honey fried chicken being served on campus.


Even on National Signing Day, Taggart had asked his new signees’ what song they would like Taggart to tweet out a lyric from to add a little personalization. Taggart spoke about how “tweeting something simple out like that shows the guys that we know a little bit more about them too.” While it was just a simple tweet, the recruits love that feeling of having their new head coach show some individualized excitement for their signing announcement.

Another cool thing about Taggart and the other coaches’ use of social media is that it has brought in some tweets from former FSU Football legends like Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, and there was even a tweet from former head coach Bobby Bowden. Because of some not so great relationships made between the former coaching staff and former FSU greats, it has been a long time since some of them have been back on campus. Coach Taggart has already and will only continue to bring former players back and show them just what he is ready to accomplish at FSU. A lot of them have already shown their support of the new coaching staff and it won’t be long until we see many former players on the sidelines of the games next season. Coach Taggart made it very clear he wants to invite as many former players back to campus as he possibly can. It is important for a program’s past great players to support the future stars and Taggart has promised he will do everything he can to get them back in Tallahassee for a visit.


It will be interesting to see if the team decides to spend the season without social media as they have for the past few years now or if they will just leave it be. On one hand, it will be better if they do not have social media use because it does take away a lot of focus. But, if they do decide to let the team use it, I think it will be just fine as they have a responsible coaching staff to look up to that will teach them right from wrong. Also the fact that every coach has a twitter and will have eyes literally everywhere is a good reason for the team to not tweet anything unnecessary as we all saw happen a few times last year.

Seeing this coaching staff use more social media is exciting for what the future holds for this program. Florida State scored a four-star recruit in the time span of two weeks all because of a single tweet. Jaiden Woodbey had received a tweet about how he should come play at FSU and then quoted it saying that Florida State was dumb to never offer him. This tweet got in the hands of FSU Twitter and within the next hour he had been direct messaged an offer to come play at FSU from none other than Coach Taggart. Since Florida State is his dream school, even from all the way in California, he of course accepted the offer and is now a Seminole. If something as crazy as that is possible, there is no telling what else will happen in the growth and rebuilding of the culture of the FSU football program.

Taggart brings a lot of hype and excitement with him and his entire new staff this season. From the inspirational quote tweets, to the funny GIFs, to even a simple retweet, these coaches have already proved to everyone how fun the future will be as a Florida State football fan. It is only going to get better from here, folks. Expect to see a lot of changes, changes for the better. Taggart’s Seminoles are fired up and ready to show everyone just what it means to be a part of the Taggart Era.

 

Haylee Blitch
Writer at NoleGameday covering Football and Baseball. Media and Communications Studies major at Florida State University.

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