One of the common questions we have received at Tomahawk Nation is how will coaches on Willie Taggart’s new Florida State Seminoles staff divide up recruiting responsibilities. We now have those answers.
First, know what due to travel time restrictions, all staffs of which I am aware recruit primarily via area, not position. Each spring and fall, a coach will endeavor to visit all schools in his territory. Once a relationship is established by an area recruiter the coach of the player’s position will follow up and advance the relationship.
Here is the initial breakdown of FSU’s recruiting territories, per sources. It is subject to change as the staff figures out what is feasible. As of publishing, each coach has between 100-200 schools for which they are responsible.
With the staff hitting the road on Monday, I'm refreshing this article.
Walt Bell, offensive coordinator/QBs
Bell will have the Panhandle of Florida (Counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Oklaoosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay and Jackson), as well as Mobile, Alabama.
He will also recruit Appalachia for FSU, and within Georgia, it’ll be the Northeast part, with the outline of his county responsibilities run Rabun, Towns, White, Hall, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Walton, Oconnee, Clark, Madison, Hart, Franklin, Stephens, Habersham, and everything inside those boundaries.
There are a lot of good quarterbacks in North Atlanta, so it makes positional sense for Bell to have that. Since he’ll be recruiting in the Carolinas and Tennessee (Bell is from Tennessee and coached at Carolina), it makes geographic sense for him to be recruiting the Northeast part of Georgia.
Harlon Barnett, Defensive Coordinator/DBs
In Florida, Barnett will have the Tallahassee area (Counties: Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsen, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Suwanee, Lafayette, and Dixie).
He will have 27 Southwest Georgia counties (Boundary line of Stewart, Webster, Sumter, Dooly, Crisp, Turner, Tift, Cook, and Lowndes). Think of it as everything South of SR 280 and West of I-75.
This makes geographic sense because his Georgia counties border his Florida counties.
Barnett will also recruit the Midwest for FSU, and specifically Ohio and Michigan.
Greg Frey, Offensive Line
Frey’s split is an interesting one geographically, but it makes use of his connections.
Within Florida, he will have Pinellas County (St. Pete/Clearwater, his hometown), plus Jacksonville (Hamilton, Columbia, Baker, Nassau, and Duval). That’s roughly 70 combined schools.
Heading North from his Jacksonville territory, Frey will have all Southeast Georgia — counties (26) Southeast of and including: Echols, Lanier, Berrien, Irwin, Ben Hill, Wilcox, Dodge, Telfair, Jeff Davis, Appling, Wayne, Long, Liberty, Bryan, and Chapman.
Mark Snyder, Defensive Ends
Snyder has the long stretch between Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando. It’s a sparsely populated area, but does include Gainesville and Ocala. His counties are Gilchrist, Union, Bradford, Clay, St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam, Alachua, Levy, Marion, Lake, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco. It is a lot of area to cover (over 80 schools), but many don’t have FSU-quality players on an annual basis.
Snyder also has East Central Georgia, spanning inside and including the following counties: Elbert, Ogelthorpe, Greene, Morgan, Taliaferro, Warren, McDuffie, and Columbia.
The common theme of most of Snyer’s counties is that they are pretty rural/country. He will also recruit the Midwest.
Odell Haggins, Defensive Tackles
Odell Haggins has long been one of the best recruiters of Central Florida, and that will continue under the new regime, though his territory is expanding. Haggins will continue to have Polk county, but he will now be responsible for more of Orlando, including Volusia, Seminole, Orange, and Osceola.
Haggins will have the West-Central Georgia area outlined by Troup, Meriwether, Pike, Lamar, Monroe, Bibb, Twiggs, Bleckley, Pulaski, Houston, Macon, Schley, Marion, and Chattahoochie counties. The big city in this rural region is Columbus, which has about 200,000 people.
Haggins will also continue to recruit in Washington D.C. and Virginia.
Donte’ Pimpleton, Running Backs
Pimpleton will have some nice Atlantic breezes as his Florida territory includes Palm Beach and the Space Coast (Counties: Brevard, Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach).
In Georgia, he’ll have Atlanta, including the following counties: Fulton, De Kalb, Rockdale, Newton, Butts, Jasper and Putnam.
Alonzo Hampton, Defensive Backs/Special Teams
Within Florida, Hampton has only one county: Broward. But there are more than 50 schools in Broward, including American Heritage, St. Thomas Aquinas, Miramar, Deerfield Beach, and more.
In Georgia, Hampton will have the large Eastern chunk outlined by and including the following counties Richmond, Jefferson, Glascock, Hancock, Baldwin, Jones, Wilkinson, Laurens, Wheeler, Montgomery, Toombs, Tattnall, Evans, Bulloch, and Effingham. Hampton was also the defensive backs coach at Tift County, so don’t be surprised if he swings by there.
Hampton also has territories in Louisiana, Arkansas, Memphis and some in Mississippi. Hampton played at Louisiana Monroe and coached in Arkansas.
Telly Lockette, Tight ends
It’s all about Miami for Lockette, who has the 60 schools in Dade and Monroe counties. Lockette was the head coach at Miami Central and the offensive coordinator of Miami Northwestern in their title runs, so he’s a well-known figure in South Florida.
In Georgia, Lockette will have eight counties Southwest of Atlanta: Heard, Carroll, Douglas, Cowetta, Fayette, Clayton, Henry, and Spalding.
Raymond Woodie, Linebackers
While more than half the staff has connections in Southwest Florida, Raymond Woodie gets the honors of having Tampa, Sarasota, Ft. Myers and Naples as his territory. He has recruited the area a long time and knows many of the coaches.
The counties include Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades, Desoto, Hardee, and Highlands. It’s a long stretch, but given all the connections on staff in the area, expect frequent tandem recruiting here.
In Georgia, Woodie has the area Northwest of Atlanta outlined by and including the following counties: Haralson, Paulding, Cobb, Cherokee, Pickens, Gordon, and Chattooga.
David Kelly, Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator
Kelly is the only coach not to have a defined territory. Kelly is arguably the best recruiter on staff, and in addition to organizing FSU’s recruiting efforts, he’ll be used as an ace, visiting priority targets. But expect him to specifically assist in Georgia (17 years coaching in GA), South Carolina, and Orlando (6 years at UCF).
Like that map? It’s built in R using Leaflet. Code and “live” map here, with mouse-over county name labels.