The fallout to Jimbo Fisher leaving Florida State to become the head coach of Texas A&M has already begun. Fisher’s surprising career move now leaves the Seminoles without a head coach. An early report suggests Florida State may target an Atlantic Coast Conference rival.
According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente is among one of the top candidates on Florida State’s list to replace Fisher.
Source: Florida State's top two candidates to replace Jimbo Fisher are Oregon's Willie Taggart and Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 1, 2017
Fuente is in his second season in Blacksburg. So far, he has compiled a 19-7 record, including 11-5 in the ACC. In 2016, his first year with the Hokies, he guided the team to the ACC Coastal division title before losing to eventual national champions Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
Virginia Tech has had two strong recruiting classes under Fuente, including next year’s which is currently ranked 17th in the nation by 247 Sports. As prominent as Virginia Tech has been over the course of the last three decades thanks to Frank Beamer, Florida State is an opportunity not many would pass up.
The latest news will certainly make Hokies fans nervous and anxious waiting out the coaching carousel. Still the timing of the situation may be all wrong for a departure by Fuente. Virginia Tech is expected to be strong next season and just two years in, hard to believe a coach would bolt for an intra-conference foe. This isn’t a Vanderbilt coach being offered by Alabama. The Hokies have been one of the more consistent and dominant programs in the ACC since the school joined in 2004 right along with Florida State.
Keep in mind, many insiders feel Oregon’s Willie Taggart may be the first choice of the Seminoles.
Think it will be really tough to pry Fuente out of VT after just two years and with things progressing nicely.
I think Taggart would have a hard time NOT taking FSU. It's the perfect job for him if he can get it, even though the timing is not ideal.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 1, 2017
But, even so, the carousel could knock at Fuente’s door eventually. We’ll have to wait and see where the dominoes fall after Fisher appears to have got the ball rolling.