TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) – 60,0000-plus fans at a Florida State football game. That’s expected. Where it’s not? A spring game.
"I was like golly! They must be here for the concert!" joked junior defensive end Brian Burns.
No, those fans here to see this Florida State football team and the debut of the Willie Taggart era. It was obvious Saturday that the juice was definitely back inside Doak.
"Look," said former Florida State receiver Peter Warrick as he motioned to the stands behind him. "This right here says it all. The stadium, the crowd, the fans. The people that come to see the game of football at Florida State. To me, never seen anything like it."
"The previous era we were in was awesome, but it’s something special brewing around here at Florida State," added Cam Erving, who plays for Kansas City. "It’s great to see, great to be a part of it."
Who’s behind the brewing? Head Coach Willie Taggart, and the former players are embracing the change.
"I definitely felt welcome," said current Jacksonville Jaguar Rashad Greene. "It makes me want to come back more in the off season, just to be around and show the younger guys just how it needs to be done."
"I love the fact that he’s embracing the former players, the tradition and the atmosphere," said Snoop Minnis, who caught passes for the Noles in the late 1990’s.
"He’s going to be a valuable tool for all us alumni to come back," said running back and Minnesota Viking Dalvin Cook. "He’s a great coach and we respect him so much."
Respect goes both ways and for Taggart, seeing the past meet the future, is exactly what he wanted.
"They come around and our players get to see them," said Taggart after the game. "They get to see the guys that played here, see the guys that built this program and come back and show their passion and pride for the University. It’s on our guys to continue what they started."
"Playing in front of guys that have been here and done it, you’re like, I gotta do it for them," added redshirt freshman quarterback Bailey Hockman. "I have to do it for the people to come and the people that already did it. The people that set the standards for us."
And if 60,000-plus get to witness it? That’d be pretty cool too.