Florida State recruiting: Willie Taggart targeting 5-star Justin Fields, 2 other QBs

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One of the biggest mysteries for Willie Taggart to sort out after he arrived in Tallahassee to take over Florida State’s program was to figure out the Seminoles quarterback board in the 2018 cycle.

Under previous coach Jimbo Fisher, only two names dominated the conversation for the last eight months: 5-star Kennesaw (Ga.) Harrison passer Justin Fields and 4-star Montgomery (Ala.) Lanier quarterback James Foster.

Fields was the biggest prize and Fisher’s top target for a majority of the that period until he committed to Georgia in October. Meanwhile, Foster earned an offer from the Seminoles last month and has been communicating with the staff regularly since.

Taggart arrived in Tallahassee on Wednesday, and those two names are still very much in the picture as far as players he is prioritizing at the position.

Over the weekend, another name emerged as Taggart offered 3-star Tampa Bay Tech (Fla.) quarterback and current Tennessee commit Michael Penix.

According to Josh Newberg of Noles247, Taggart planned on visiting Fields as soon as possible. While Taggart wanted to do it last week, the timing didn’t work out.

Still, it’s clear that the new Seminoles coach won’t give up on Fields without giving it his best shot.

Taggart used a similar strategy last year after getting the Oregon job and visiting star recruit Tua Tagovailoa. The Hawaii native ended up honoring his commitment to Alabama, but Taggart will give Fields a lot to think about regarding the opportunity he would have at Florida State.

The Ducks were recruiting Fields and were hoping to get him on campus, but the trip never materialized. But there’s a baseline with which Fields has to go on with Taggart.

He was already heavily interested in the Seminoles at one point. Taggart’s hiring shouldn’t hurt their chances.

Still, categorizing Fields as anything other than a long shot at this point would be wishful thinking.

As for Foster, the Alabama native appears to be giving Florida State every opportunity to win out in his recruitment. He put them in his top 5 and he’s still communicating with the staff through the transition from Fisher to Taggart.

Assistants Lawrence Dawsey and Randy Sanders visited Foster over the weekend.

An official visit is likely to be set up next month. But there’s a matter of dealing with the likes of Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri and Texas A&M — who are the other suitors in his recruitment.

He will not be an early enrollee, so his process likely will go the distance.

Then there’s Penix.

While he’s the latest name added to the Seminoles quarterback board, his process could wrap up rather quickly since he’s scheduled to be an early enrollee and sign in the early signing period. Newberg reported that Taggart is expected to do an in-home visit with him on Monday.

Will he remain committed to the Vols or could the Seminoles flip him? The key to watch could be whether he takes a visit to Florida State in the next few days or this weekend.

If Penix heads elsewhere, perhaps more names could emerge for Florida State down the road.

If the Seminoles successfully flip him and get him to sign early, could the possibility of signing two passers in this class come into play?

Either way, it appears as if the next few days and weeks will be eventful for Taggart and the Seminoles as they attempt to clear up this situation.

The post Florida State recruiting: Willie Taggart targeting 5-star Justin Fields, 2 other QBs appeared first on Diehards.

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