Monday Mailbag: Nick Cross, coaching hires, potential transfers, #Tribe19

With National Signing Day behind us and The Chase beginning this morning, Florida State is shifting gears from recruiting to getting back onto the field. The Seminoles are ready to put 2018 behind them and are looking to rebound behind the offensive prowess of new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles.

FSU is still waiting on four-star Nick Cross to sign, which is something I’ll look at deeper later in the mailbag. The ‘Noles are still pursuing a few transfers, including offensive linemen R.J. Proctor and Parker Braun as well as a potential quarterback. It’s going to be imperative for the coaching staff to do something at signal-caller with James Blackman as the only current eligible player at the position.

Let’s reach into the mailbag and see what ‘Nole Nation is asking about today.

What’s going on with the Randy Clements hiring and the hiring of a second defensive back coach? – Sheldon Walker

Update on the coaching staff, please? – @CeeMuhammad

 Are we getting Randy Clements, Houston’s offensive line coach? – Joshua Schultz  

Now that signing day has come and gone. Can we now expect to get that much talked about DB coach into the fold? – @ThaTKO13

As far as we know, there hasn’t been much new information on the hiring of Randy Clements or a second defensive backs coach. Clements has a buyout on his contract that Houston will not release him from, conversely, Florida State doesn’t want to pay the full amount and they’ve been trying to negotiate a price both parties can agree upon. Interesting enough, the Cougars have already hired another offensive line coach which makes it seem like they’re prepared for Clements not to be there next season.

There’s been even less chatter on the Seminoles hiring a second defensive back coach though we know it’s certainly something Willie Taggart wants to do. He’s interviewed a few candidates and we still think the top guys are Terrell Buckley and Wes McGriff.

Is Nick Cross the safety going to go against his parent’s wishes and insist on coming to Florida state? – Joshua Schultz

We have been hearing about Nick Cross’ parents being the issue with him signing his LOI. But why would they not allow their son to come to Tallahassee? – Terrance Eubanks

There’s no doubt that Nick Cross wants to be a Seminole. He told his parents on National Signing day that he wanted to sign with FSU and they basically told him no and to pick one of Penn State, Maryland, or Georgia. Cross was firmly against it and in turn, his parents refused to sign his letter of intent. As of now, it’s a waiting game. The hope is that one of his parents will cave and sign his LOI so Cross can go to the school where he actually wants to be.

The main sell against Florida State has been academics and coaching instability. It’s certainly easier to negative recruit against Taggart and his staff following one of the worst seasons in program history. However, if his dad is that sold on Penn State he needs to look a little deeper. James Franklin flirts with other jobs every year and the Nittany Lions had more players than any other school enter the Transfer Portal this offseason.

Even though the Tribe 19 class is not of FSU standard. I still think it’s a pretty solid class, all things considered. What say you? – @ThaTKO13

Florida State definitely missed out on some high-level prospects but they supplemented that by finding other solid players to fill their spots. I think this class certainly raises the immediate floor and the future ceiling of the program. There aren’t a ton of day one contributors but I’m expecting 8-10 guys to see consistent playing time, namely Akeem Dent, Dontae Lucas, Jay Williams, Travis Jay, Brendan Gant, Jaleel McRae, and Kalen DeLoach.

Cross would be added to that list if he signs.

Do you think bringing in a high-level transfer quarterback could cause Blackman to transfer out of the program because coach Taggart would feel pressured to start him over Blackman? – @BUCS_N_NOLES

Well, James Blackman has already considered entering the Transfer Portal once this offseason shortly after Deondre Francois announced he was returning to the team. With Francois gone, Blackman is essentially a lock to start right now unless a transfer quarterback comes in and beats him out. Personally, I think it’s unlikely because of the grasp he has on this team with his leadership and his ability. Blackman is a good quarterback and he should’ve led this team a year ago.

I think Blackman understands that anyone transferring in would have a major disadvantage at beating him out.

Think FSU moves on Calvin Ashley, the OT from Auburn? Just entered the transfer portal this afternoon and was heavily linked to FSU in his recruiting cycle. – Dominic Percia

I haven’t heard anything yet but I’m sure the coaches are looking just about every option on the market. They want to retool this unit immediately with guys that can come in and play.

Are the players and staff all in for James Blackman? – Joshua Schultz

No question. James Blackman will be Florida State’s starting quarterback in 2019 barring an unforeseen circumstance or an injury. The team is behind him and the coaches know how hard this kid works on his game.

Nyqwan Murray came on our podcast, Hear The Spear, and said this last Thursday.

“James Blackman. To be honest, I don’t think we’ve had a leader like that type of dude since Jameis Winston since they won a National Championship. That dude can play some ball.”

If we get off to a bad start our first six games will Willie Taggert remain the coach? – William Tatum

Florida State is still behind Willie Taggart despite the 2018 season. They believe he can still turn this program around and are showing that by hiring a coach he badly wanted on staff in Kendal Briles, among other ways.

I think it’d take a horrific start for FSU to part with Taggart so quickly, especially with the buyout he’s owed. He’d have to start 2019 off 1-5 or 0-6, something in that like to be fired that swiftly.

And I honestly just don’t see that happening with the changes he’s already beginning to make within the program.


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