Fall Sports

Taggart’s Out: Sunshine State Recruiting Race

Photo by Don Juan Moore / Getty Images

With the announcement of FSU’s firing of head football coach, Willie Taggart, Sunday afternoon, chances are other teams across the country are taking a good look at the Seminoles’ commitment list and taking aim at recruits they feel they can flip from Taggart-less ‘Noles. 

One of those teams being Dan Mullen’s Florida Gators. 

The pool of athletes is just as rich as the soil here in Florida and with the recent disarray at the Florida State football program, the Gators have a leg up in the recruiting race within the Sunshine State. 

Now, who will likely be on the Gators’ radar to really push for a flip?

Josh Griffis – 3-Star DE @ IMG Academy

Bradenton, FL – 6-4”, 245 lb

Back in September of 2017, Griffis retained an offer from the Gators and actually committed to the University of Florida – which, at the time, was no surprise considering Griffis and his family’s fandom of the Florida Gators. However, in February of this year, five days after his visit to Tallahassee, Griffis decommitted from UF and committed to the rivaling ‘Noles in April. While it’s just speculation, Griffis has since removed any signs of his commitment to FSU as of Sunday. Florida defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, was pretty fond of Griffis, who comes in as the 76thbest high school football prospect in the State of Florida. 

Morven Joseph – 3-Star DE @ Lake Gibson

Lakeland, FL – 6-3”, 211 lb

The addition of Joseph would be another nice pickup for Todd Grantham and the Florida defense at the linebacker spot. Like Griffis, Joseph was also previously committed to the Gators back in February of this year. However, following an unofficial visit to the ‘Noles in late June, Joseph flipped to Coach Taggart and FSU late in July of this year. This is a kid that Todd Grantham really wants to see in orange and blue – I have no doubts that the Gators haven’t stayed in Joseph’s ear despite the flip in July. Though I will say this, when Joseph broke his Twitter silence following Taggart’s firing, he was very complimentary of interim head coach, Odell Haggins. 

Jaylan Knighton – 4-Star APB @ Deerfield Beach

Deerfield Beach, FL – 5-9”, 194 lb

The SoFlo all-purpose back has two commitments and two de-commitments under his belt. Initially committing to Oklahoma before flipping to the Seminoles, Knighton announced on Monday that amid Taggart’s firing, he is opening up his recruitment once more. The Gators are slated to welcome Knighton to Gainesville this Saturday as the Gators host Vanderbilt. However, Knighton’s phone will likely be ringing off the hook in the weeks to come as he also boasts offers from Alabama, Penn State and Ohio State (who is really hot on the trail for Knighton) among many others. 

As Dan Mullen said following Florida’s loss to Georgia on Saturday, there is still a lot of football to be played. And while I fully expect Mullen and his staff to focus on Saturday’s bout against the Commodores, I assure you they are glancing over FSU’s commit list in their spare time. 

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