Despite a report from the NFL Network that Deion Sanders is a candidate for the vacant Florida State University football coaching job, two people with knowledge of FSU’s plans told the Tallahassee Democrat that he is not a candidate. The two spoke on the condition of anonymity because details about the coaching search are private.
Taggart was fired Sunday, 21 games into his six-year, $30 million contract. Veteran FSU assistant Odell Haggins was named the interim head coach for the second time. Haggins and Sanders were part of the Seminoles’ acclaimed 1985 recruiting class, and the two were roommates at FSU.
Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops quickly emerged as a top candidate to replace Taggart. David Coburn, FSU’s director of athletics, confirmed to the Democrat earlier this week that Stoops is “on the list, and he’s certainly somebody we would consider.” But officials say they are letting the search play out and are looking for the committee to identify a pool of candidates.
Sanders signed with FSU out of North Fort Myers High, where he earned his “Prime Time” nickname. He went on to become arguably one of the best athletes in Seminoles lore. The flamboyant 52-year-old played professional football and baseball at the same time and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Sanders has coached football at the high school level but has spent the majority of his post-athletic career as a TV analyst, first for CBS Sports and currently NFL Network. While Sanders is known for his flashy personality and knack for self-promotion, he is well-respected.
Sanders didn’t exactly deny the report early Friday morning. He responded to a Tweet from entertainer and Miami Hurricanes supporter Luther Campbell: “Love ya my brother! Always have always will. Coming up in FLORIDA You made us think outside the box & dream big. I need those players from Miami. Just joking….. Not really.”
Some former FSU players, at least on social media, have pushed for Haggins to move into the vacancy full-time. Others have rallied behind former FSU quarterback Rick Stockstill, the head coach at Middle Tennessee.
Former FSU assistant coach Jim Gladden also weighed in.
“I love Deion. I loved him as a player and I am proud of him. But he added: “There is a whole lot more to being a head coach than being a great player.”
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