New Florida State football coach Willie Taggart is playing a numbers game with his team as revealed when the Seminoles released their spring practice roster on Wednesday.
Single-digit jersey numbers are prized by the modern college football player and Taggart is turning that into a motivation to work even harder as the Seminoles prepare for the first day of spring practice next week on March 21.
Any returning player who had a single-digit number last season now has a double-digit number. They will have to earn their old number back, a policy Taggart had at Oregon last season.
At the time, he told media in Oregon that they must be "good players, good students and have good character," to get their favored number back.
Nine returning players had to change their numbers, led by quarterback James Blackman (No. 1 to No. 13), running backs Cam Akers (3 to 23) and Jacques Patrick (9 to 19), defensive backs Levonta Taylor (1 to 28) and Stanford Samuels III (8 to 18) and wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8 to 11).
The other roster changes showed that Taggart is eliminating the fullback position in his new scheme. Returning fullbacks Jonathan Vickers and Gabe Nabers are now listed as tight ends.