Florida State Seminoles: Odell Haggins

Only three ACC schools kept their entire coaching staffs intact this past offseason, the clearest way to show how transient the profession is on a year-to-year basis.

[+] EnlargeBud Foster
Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY SportsDefensive coordinator Bud Foster has been Frank Beamer's right-hand man at Virginia Tech since 1987.
That is why a select group of coaches deserve a hand. Chris Vannini of Coachingsearch.com compiled a list of FBS assistants who have stayed at their respective schools for at least 10 years.

It is not a very long list.

Only 37 of 1,152 full-time assistants meet that standard. Four are from the ACC. Three are from one school: Virginia Tech.

  • Bud Foster, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator, 1987
  • Bryan Stinespring, Virginia Tech tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, 1990
  • Charley Wiles, Virginia Tech defensive line/run game coordinator, 1996
  • Odell Haggins, Florida State defensive tackles, 1994

Stinespring and Haggins break the typical assistants mold, making their stories especially remarkable. Neither has ever worked for another FBS school. Haggins played at Florida State from 1986-89, then began his coaching career there in 1994. He was recently promoted to associate head coach and is going into his 21st season with the Seminoles.

Stinespring started at Virginia Tech as a graduate assistant, working his way up to offensive coordinator. After the 2012 season, he remained on staff as recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach despite losing his offensive coordinator duties.

Foster and Wiles both played for Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer; Foster has spent his entire coaching career with Beamer, turning down opportunities to become defensive coordinator elsewhere. His name has been linked to head coach openings in the past, and there is no doubt he would love the opportunity to run his own program one day. But until that day comes, Foster remains committed to both Beamer and Virginia Tech. The reverse is true as well.

What is clear about all four: they have gotten on-the-field results and have benefited from being at programs with long-tenured head coaches. Beamer has been at Virginia Tech since 1987. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher worked with Haggins under Bobby Bowden, and Fisher decided to retain him on staff. Fisher also retained two other assistants who remain in Tallahassee: offensive line coach Rick Trickett and receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey. Both are going into their eighth seasons at Florida State -- not quite a decade but quite a solid tenure at one place.
Florida State dipped into its rich legacy to recruit a defensive lineman.

Fredrick Jones (Miami/Miami Central), a 6-foot-2, 270-pound defensive tackle, committed over the weekend. He is the nephew of one of the best linebackers in school history, Marvin Jones. Fredrick's father, Fred Jones, played at FSU as well.

Needless to say, it was an easy choice for him once he was offered. That, of course, came at the Jimbo Fisher Camp last week, where he spent a lot of time working with defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins.

Haggins apparently liked what he saw and decided to pull the trigger. The feeling was mutual.

"Hard work pays off," he said. "I committed to Florida State University."

The addition of Jones makes it 21 commitments for the Class of 2014. He is the second defensive tackle in the class alongside Demarcus Christmas (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee).

Though Blake McClain (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) is listed as such, he will be brought in as a defensive end.

Florida State is expected to have a very full class and will likely sign more than 25 prospects in this cycle.

FSU camp: Speaks makes some noise 

June, 12, 2013
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The first session of the Jimbo Fisher Football Camp was a little light in the amount of top quality prospects. That's not too unusual, and it is likely to pick up as the week goes on.

But given the circumstances, it wasn't hard to pick out Breeland Speaks (Jackson, Miss./Callaway) among the crowd. The 6-foot-3, 281-pound defensive lineman looked and played the part.

Target profile: Trey Marshall 

June, 3, 2013
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Target: Safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), 6-foot, 193 pounds

Status: Undeclared

Offers: Arkansas, Florida International, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and West Virginia


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Timmy Jernigan Bob Donnan/US PresswireTimmy Jernigan (8) wants to make his mark as one of the best defenstive tackles to play at FSU.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan grew up 20 minutes from the University of Florida campus in Lake City, rooting for the Gators as a young child.

But that does not mean he only saw through orange and blue glasses. Jernigan kept tabs on all of the college football greats around the state, including those making a name for themselves at Florida State.

So when it came time to begin the recruiting process, Jernigan already knew about the Seminoles' past history at his preferred position -- including all the success current assistant Odell Haggins had while playing in Tallahassee. His relationship with Haggins led him to sign with Florida State. Now, Jernigan is prepared to take the next step in his career as he will see more playing time.

He wants to be the best defensive tackle to ever play at the school. It's bold talk for a former role player, but talk Jernigan fully intends on backing up in the fall.

"There’s so much more I want to do at Florida State that hasn’t been done here," Jernigan said in a recent interview.

How will he get it done?

"Work," Jernigan said. "There’s no trick to it. I really feel like when I push myself and I work hard, and I really buy into something it’s hard to stop it."

The list of standout tackles to play for the Noles is a long one. Most recently, Andre Fluellen (2008), Letroy Guion (2008), Brodrick Bunkley (2006), Travis Johnson (2005), Darnell Dockett (2004) and Corey Simon (2000) became NFL picks -- Bunkley, Johnson and Simon all went in the first round.

Jernigan easily starts listing the players who came before him when asked, and says he has had a chance to ask guys like Johnson and Simon for a little bit of advice whenever they come around Tallahassee.

"Just the little things, from stepping to hands, anything I can learn from them I’m willing to learn," he said.

Of course, he also is more than willing to learn from Haggins, who went on to coach many of the standouts Jernigan has come to admire.

"Luckily, I am blessed enough to have the same coach all those guys had," Jernigan said. "I’m getting the same teaching they all got. I’m getting the best. That played a big part in me coming -- because of the history of the D-tackles, the history of the defense itself, and definitely coach Haggins."

One more blessing. During the recruiting process, Haggins had three finalists -- Florida State, LSU and Alabama. The big pull to the Tide? Then assistant Jeremy Pruitt. Now, Pruitt is leading the Florida State defense, so Haggins is playing for two of the three coaches that appealed to him most during recruiting.

"It’s amazing how everything pans out," Jernigan said.
As it turns out, Blake McClain (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) was a little late on his deadline for a commitment.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end heavily favored Florida State following his junior day visit in mid-February and nearly committed to Jimbo Fisher then.

"This close," McClain said back on Feb. 16. "This close. But I am going to wait until next week."

Fisher had to wait longer than expected, but got McClain’s commitment all the same, ESPN has confirmed.

While in Tallahassee, McClain got comfortable with the Seminoles after feeling something different, something he hadn't felt anywhere else while on visits.

"I visited over the summer and the experience there, I mean, it was nothing like this," he said of a visit to in-state rival Florida. "All I did was go to a game and they showed me around some of the campus, but here (FSU) they just treated us like we were part of the family. That was a big factor."

North Carolina was perceived to be one of the Seminoles biggest threats in the McClain sweepstakes. But LSU, too, entered late as his most recent offer.

Alabama, Auburn and West Virginia had also extended offers.

McClain's commitment to the Seminoles gives them their sixth for their rapidly-changing commitment list.

McClain would join young defensive ends Davarez Bryant, Chris Casher and Mario Edwards once on campus at a major position of need.

His pledge could have added significance given that ESPN Watch List inside linebacker Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) is McClain's high school teammate. Daub has Florida State in his top two schools along with Alabama.

Assistant coaches Jeremy Pruitt and Odell Haggins have contributed in the recruitment of both prospects.

DL McBride lands big offer 

March, 4, 2013
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Montel McBride (Plant City, Fla./Plant City) and his coach thought something like this might happen.

After going to a couple camps, the 6-foot-4, 305-pound lineman was starting to get noticed. He was winning his battles and looking impressive in drills.


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Noles 2013 snapshot: Keith Bryant 

February, 14, 2013
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With national signing day now beyond us, NoleNation takes a closer look at the next crop of Seminoles.

Vitals: Defensive tackle Keith Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./Atlantic), 6-foot-2, 292 pounds


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Keith Bryant selects Florida State 

February, 6, 2013
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video Keith Bryant's (Delray Beach, Fla./Atlantic Community) recruitment is finally over. After being committed to Miami for some time during this cycle, it turns out he's staying in the same state, but not with the Hurricanes.

Florida State and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins won out in the end as Bryant chose the Seminoles over Miami, South Carolina and Southern Cal. The four-star prospect is ranked by ESPN as the No. 135 player in the country for the Class of 2013.

What is the impact of Bryant's decision?


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Stevenson ready for the next challenge 

December, 18, 2012
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ESPN 300 linebacker Freddie Stevenson (Bartow, Fla./Bartow) is nearing the end of a chapter.

In a matter of just a few weeks, the four-star prospect will forego his final semester in high school to enroll early at Florida State and begin his collegiate career. Last week, head coach Jimbo Fisher paid Stevenson an in-home visit to clear up any logistical hypotheticals.

"It was exciting," Stevenson said. "They were making sure I had everything ready for January, since I am going to be enrolling in January. They were also talking about how important it was for me to enroll early."

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Five cornerbacks for 2014 

November, 28, 2012
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NoleNation takes a look at candidates for the cornerback position out of the class of 2014.

Nigel Patten (Miami/Booker T. Washington) -- Emerged on the scene at Florida State's camp over the summer impressing with his pure speed. Also went on to win an award at Florida's camp for the fastest man among his group. Patten was offered early by Florida State and assistant coach James Coley who will be hoping to open a pipeline at Booker T. Washington High School. He's also teammates with other targets such as Matthew Thomas, Denver Kirkland and Treon Harris.

D'Andre Payne (Washington D.C./Howard D. Woodson) -- Payne was offered by Florida State over the summer to go along with a multitude of others. Most recently, Payne was on campus for the Florida-Florida State game on an unofficial visit. Coming all the way down from Washington D.C. could be indicative of his interest in the Seminoles. Defensive line coach Odell Haggins has had success in the area landing targets such as Ronald Darby and Eddie Goldman as recently as last year.

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D'Andre Payne enjoys unofficial to FSU 

November, 26, 2012
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Junior defensive back D'Andre Payne (Washington, D.C./Howard D. Woodson) made the trip south this weekend to see the Sunshine State Showdown between Florida and Florida State in Tallahassee.

Watching from the stands, he saw the game change over and over again, but pointed to a specific sequence of events that determined the outcome.

"I think it was a good game up until around the fourth quarter," he said. "Florida State had a lot of turnovers, and I think when EJ Manuel got hurt, and when he fumbled, I think that is when it turned everything around. But I think it was a good game."

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UF, FSU often clash for recruits 

November, 20, 2012
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Florida State

Timmy Jernigan: Growing up, there was never a question where Jernigan would play his college football. And there wasn't a question if he would make it to the next level. He was elite, even from a young age. And Jernigan loved the Florida Gators.

Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins didn't waver, though. He continued working hard to get Jerngian on campus, coached him up on camps and eventually made headway. Finally, FSU got a stranglehold on Jernigan. And by the time national signing day rolled around, Florida didn't even send a letter of intent and Tallahassee was his destination.

James Wilder Jr.: A legend in the prep ranks from early on in his career, this powerful running back was considered to be a UF lean for a while. Florida State and Georgia entered the picture, too. All three programs battled it out intensely.

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Dillon Bates leaves with good impression 

October, 17, 2012
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Junior linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra) was one of the headliners from the Class of 2014 in attendance for Florida State's 51-7 win over Boston College on Saturday.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect was already familiar with the Seminoles, of course, but he still came away with a fresh and positive influence afterward.

"When we got there, we just went on a little tour," said Bates, the son of former Dallas Cowboys safety Bill Bates. "I was really impressed with all the facilities that they have. It was really impressive to see where they all work out and everything like that. I was just real excited to see all that.

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Trey Marshall set for return trip to FSU 

September, 18, 2012
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Junior safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) was one of several visitors in Tallahassee last weekend for the Wake Forest game. Taking in the 52-0 lopsided victory for the home team, the prospect enjoyed himself.

From the stands, Marshall keyed on the Seminoles defensive backs and liked the energy vibrating from defensive coordinator Mark Stoops' group.

"It was a good experience," said the 6-foot-1, 185-pound prospect. "I was just looking at the defensive backs, mainly.

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