Willie Taggart has been in contact with Michigan State assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett to be the Florida State defensive coordinator, according to a report from Dan Wolken of USA Today.
Source: Florida State has had ongoing conversations with Michigan State assistant HC/co-DC Harlon Barnett about its defensive coordinator position.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 3, 2018
Barnett also coaches the secondary for the Spartans and just finished his 11 th season in East Lansing. From his bio on Michigan State’s official website:
Barnett mentors one of the top secondaries in the nation, as the Spartans have ranked among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Top 25 in pass efficiency defense four of the past six seasons (No. 18 in 2011, No. 3 in 2012, No. 1 in 2013, No. 21 in 2014). The Spartans also finished ranked in the NCAA FBS Top 10 in pass defense in 2012 (ninth) and 2013 (third). In addition, MSU ranked second in the Big Ten and tied for 10th in the NCAA FBS with 18 interceptions in 2014, and was second in the Big Ten and tied for 23rd in the FBS in 2015 with 15 picks. From 2011-14, the Spartans were the only program to finish in the NCAA FBS Top 10 in both total defense and rushing defense.
Barnett played for Michigan State in the late 1980s, but he’d have more responsibilities if he left his alma mater for Florida State. It will be interesting to see if this is the guy Taggart lands on to lead his defense.
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