"I kind of think, like [Coach Taggart] told me, it was like a no-brainer to come to Florida State", Thrasher said, to loud applause and laughter.
Justin Wilcox, a former OR player and Junction City native, would have to leave California after only one season as head coach to return home.
There was no other way, Taggart said during Wednesday's press conference. "I want our defense to back to where Florida State defense has been in the past", Taggart said.
After Taggart said publicly that he was contacted by FSU over the weekend, OR linebacker Troy Dye said Taggart lied "straight" to his dad's face. He said he always wanted to find his way here, so when he walked onto the 50-yard line at Doak Campbell Stadium for the first time, he raised his arms and shouted, "I made it".
- A person with direct knowledge of the situation says Willie Taggart has agreed to become Florida State's next football coach.
Perhaps the most profound moment that sealed the deal for Taggart to leave OR after just one season for the vacant Florida State coaching job was a conversation with his 16-year-old son, Willie Taggart Jr., on Sunday night.
Taggart discussed his Palmetto roots, Manatee High football, former head coach Joe Kinnan and neighborhood friend Peter Warrick, who played at Southeast and FSU before an NFL career, during his press conference.
"Freshman safety Nick Pickett tweeted that "(Taggart) is a liar, then gone cry (in) front of the team like we gone feel bad for em".
Taggart, who led the Ducks to a 7-5 record this season, signed a six-year, $30 million deal with Florida State.
From there, OR linebacker and leading tackler Troy Dye took things a step further, laying out a scenario in which Taggart misled his family and directly calling his now-former head coach a liar. We're not going to make excuses. "He didn't keep his word to me Monday. We want to bring people together to win championships", Taggart said. "The timing is probably not right, but it's never right when it's time to leave". I know I let them down. "When he expressed this was his dream job, that did it for me". I wanted to come up and play here, but I wasn't good enough. "But no matter where I went, the Seminoles were always a part of me".