Haggins forms quick bond with new coach Norvell
FSU interim coach Odell Haggins sat down with new coach Mike Norvell not long after Norvell was hired.
The two had a conversation about what the future plans would be for the two of them after Haggins reportedly interviewed for the head coaching position.
Norvell ultimately decided to retain Haggins and name him associate head coach and defensive line coach.
“We just had a great conversation talking about Florida State’s history and just talked about some of the similar people that we know. We had a great conversation,” Haggins said Saturday. “Felt good before. I felt good about it afterward, too.”
Haggins will be the longest-tenured assistant coach in the country next year following the retirement of longtime Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
Norvell made a good first impression with players as well.
He met with the team before his introductory press conference, and his energy stood out to them.
“I love the guy already,” wide receiver Tamorrion Terry said. “I feel like he knows what he’s doing, and I feel like he’s going to get the job done. One thing he told us is [to] trust him, and that’s what I’m doing right now, and that’s what the team is doing. I’m just going to lock in and buy in to what he brings to the table and whatever that is, I hope it’ll be great.”
After starting running back Cam Akers declared for the NFL draft on Saturday, Terry is also pondering doing the same.
Terry has enjoyed a breakout redshirt sophomore season and he leads the Seminoles with 51 receptions for 1,023 yards and eight touchdowns.
Terry is the first FSU receiver to surpass the 1,000-yard mark since
Rashad Greene did it in 2014.
Terry said he will make a decision following the Seminoles’ bowl game.
“I gotta think about a lot. I gotta lot going on right now, so I’m discussing it with my family right now,” Terry said. “And it’s a lot on us and whenever that time comes, I’m going to make the decision.”
Quarterback James Blackman could also decide to enter the draft.
Blackman has had an up-anddown season, throwing for 2,095 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Blackman was asked if the new staff has to convince him to stay, but he kept it close to the vest and said he is focused on the Sun Bowl.
“Like I said before, I’m just focusing on this bowl game right now, and then I’ll think about all those things later on,” Blackman said.
“I just want to keep my complete focus on winning this game and finishing out strong.”
With no Akers for the bowl game, the Seminoles are lacking depth at running back.
Backup Khalan Laborn was suspended for a violation of team rules for FSU’s 40-17 loss to Florida during the regular-season finale. Haggins said Laborn still has to meet certain requirements before he returns to the team.
Wide receiver D.J. Matthews took reps at running back during practice on Saturday.
The status of offensive lineman Jauan Williams, who did not travel to Gainesville because of personal reasons, is still uncertain.
Norvell has been working on piecing together his initial recruiting class with the Seminoles.
FSU hosted its final official visit weekend before the early signing period begins on Wednesday. An official visit is any visit for a recruit that is paid by the university.
The Seminoles picked up a big commitment during the week when three-star quarterback Tate Rodemaker posted on Twitter he will be signing with FSU on Wednesday. Rodemaker replaces four-star quarterback Jeff Sims, who decommitted after meeting with Norvell.
FSU currently has 14 commitments and the class ranks 24th in the country, according to 247Sports.com.
Veteran FSU assistant Odell Haggins said he had a positive first meeting with new Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell, leading to Haggins remaining a member of the staff.