PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Arguably the greatest former Florida State football player in program history is reportedly being considered to succeed Willie Taggart as head coach.
Former Florida State and NFL cornerback Deion Sanders has emerged as a candidate for the vacant position, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport said Thursday night on Twitter, citing sources.
NFL Network analyst and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has emerged as a candidate for the Florida St. head coaching job, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. A fascinating situation that could unfold.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 8, 2019
Florida State fired Taggart on Sunday, one day after the Seminoles lost 27-10 to rival Miami at home. Taggart's tenure lasted just 21 games, finishing 9-12 in less than two seasons.
While several prominent names, including retired Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, have been floated around regarding the Florida State job, Sanders is perhaps the most surprising.
The eight-time Pro Bowl player, two-time Super Bowl champion and 1988 Jim Thorpe Award winner presented to the nation's top college defensive back has been inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also earned the nickname "Prime Time" and contributed to the "Seminole Rap," recorded before the Seminoles were ranked the No. 1 team in the 1988 preseason. (Spoiler alert: Miami beat the Seminoles 31-0 in the opening game at the Orange Bowl, forever reminding Florida State fans why it's never a good idea to make a self-touting music video before the games are played.)
Sanders, 52, has never been a coach at the college or NFL level, although there's no question he brings name recognition for a school looking to make a splash hire.
But it's hard for many loyal Florida State fans to ignore how Sanders separated himself from the program throughout much of his prime (get it?) playing years. Oh, and there was also that time he counseled and coached former Miami Hurricanes star Devin Hester while seemingly ignoring the defensive backs at Florida State.
Sanders eventually started coming back around shortly after Taggart took over in December 2017, but it didn't help to save Taggart's job.
If Florida State truly seeks to unite players of the past with those of the present, perhaps a more established former star with a coaching background like Chris Weinke (2000 Heisman Trophy winner), now coaching quarterbacks at Tennessee, or Terrell Buckley (1991 Thorpe Award winner), now coaching defensive backs at Mississippi State, would make more sense.
Heck, even former Florida State quarterback and current Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill (90-84 in 14 seasons) or recently unretired 68-year-old head coach Mack Brown (who played at Florida State and won a national title at Texas before returning to North Carolina this season) seem more viable.