Hag­gins forms quick bond with new coach Norvell

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS MONDAY - By Luis Tor­res

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.

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