FSU Football: Will Charlie Strong Hire Impact The ‘Noles?

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Sep 12, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; South Florida Bulls quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) looks for a receiver while being pressured by Florida State Seminoles defensive end Josh Sweat (9) at Doak Campbell Stadium. Florida State won 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

FSU football has played South Florida a few times over the last few years. We discuss if USF hiring Charlie Strong will impact the ‘Noles.

The USF Bulls made the best possible hire they could make Sunday when they announced Charlie Strong as their new head football coach.

The Bulls had lost their head coach Willie Taggart to Oregon earlier in the week, and they wasted no time in going after their man.

Strong was fired after three years at Texas where he went 16-21, and never had the full support of all the key players there in my opinion.

The guy can coach, his four-year stint at Louisville prior to being hired at Texas if proof as he went 37-15. He had back-to-back 7-6 years before going 23-3 over the final two seasons in the Big East/AAC conference.

Strong returns to the AAC conference but now in the fertile recruiting state of Florida. We discuss if Strong’s hire at USF will impact FSU.

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Jan 1, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA;
Florida Gators helmets during the second half in the 2016 Citrus Bowl at Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium. Michigan won 41-7. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Strong Roots In Florida

Charlie Strong has roots in Florida as he spent most of the previous decade working in the state.

He was on Florida’s coaching staff in the early 90’s, left and then came back to Florida as the defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer in 2003.

Strong has been working in the state of Florida since 1983 when he was a graduate assistant at the University of Florida.

A lot of things have changed over the years, including head coaches at respective schools and new schools all together. However, it’s always good to have that history with you at a big program like the University of Florida.

In fact, Strong recruited the state of Florida hard when he was the head coach at Louisville. That’s where he found Teddy Bridgewater, the eventual NFL first round draft pick who helped turn things around at Louisville.

It should allow him to hit the ground running.

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Oct 10, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong celebrates winning the game against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Red River rivalry at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Texas won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Recruiting

So we know Strong will look to recruit the state of Florida hard. However, FSU fans want to know if FSU has anything to worry about regarding potential FSU targets and USF.

I don’t think Strong being hired at USF will impact FSU that much on the recruiting trails. FSU is the big dog in the state, having beat Miami, Florida and USF every year for the past few years.

If there was a Power 5 program that should be worried, it’s the Miami Hurricanes who have become three-star university over the last decade.

It’s possible that Miami and USF could battle over a number of players on the recruiting trails since FSU has been able to pick and choose who they want under Jimbo Fisher.

Also, schools like Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Central Florida will likely see much more of an impact when it comes to recruiting.

Sep 24, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; South Florida Bulls running back Marlon Mack (5) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 24, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; South Florida Bulls running back Marlon Mack (5) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

USF Not Power 5

The other main reason USF and FSU will not compete for many of the same recruits? USF is in the AAC (American Athletic Conference) which isnt’ a Power 5 conference.

What does that mean for elite recruits?

It means they won’t get the same type of exposure as the would at a Power 5 program like FSU, Florida or the other big time programs scouring the state for elite talent.

Louisville was in the Big East and AAC Conferences while Charlie Strong was head coach there. In a similar scenario where National Championships chances were miniscule, Strong brought in the recruiting classes that were never in the upper echelon.

After getting established at Louisville the first two years, Strong brought in the No. 45 and No. 37 recruiting classes in 2012 and 2013.

The good thing for Strong is Willie Taggart did a good job of getting talent to USF while head coach there, so Strong will have much less of a rebuild then what he had at Texas or Louisville.

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Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher looks on prior to the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Conclusion

As I mentioned, I think Strong was the best hire USF could have made given the circumstances of losing Willie Taggart less than a week ago.

I don’t think USF hiring Charlie Strong will be that impactful for FSU football.

FSU football and USF are not set to play against one another any time soon after playing the last three seasons.

USF isn’t a Power 5 school and won’t have allure as big time programs like FSU, Florida, and others recruiting in the state of Florida.

His background in the state should help him hit the ground running. However, he hasn’t been able to secure elite talent although he has spent a lot of time recruiting in Florida.

Rest easy FSU football fans.

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