Odell Haggins is in his 28th year on Florida State’s coaching staff in 2021, and he has produced a blended group of impact transfers and developed young players on a defensive line that is the unquestioned strength of FSU’s defense in 2021. Throughout his career, Haggins has established himself as an outstanding recruiter, developer of talent and a role model to his players. His defensive tackles are led by a fourth-year FSU player and a second-year transfer who has developed significantly under Haggins’ tutelage. The season has also featured contributions from two players with limited experience stepping into important roles due to an injury to a starter after four games.
Odell Haggins is the longest-tenured assistant coach in the country at one institution. He has helped FSU win more than 250 games with 13 ACC titles and two national championships in his time on staff. In recognition of his many accomplishments at Florida State, he was inducted in the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2018.Haggins has twice served as interim head coach for the Seminoles and has a career record of 4-2. He has led Florida State to bowl eligibility in both tenures as an interim head coach, clinching bowl eligibility for an NCAA-record 36th straight year in 2017 and returning FSU to the postseason with two victories in 2019. He has directly coached 20 defensive linemen selected in the NFL Draft, including four first-round selections. Andre Wadsworth, the No. 3 overall selection in 1998, was the highest-drafted player in program history until Jameis Winston was selected No. 1 overall in 2015.Haggins earned ACC Top Recruiter of the Year honors from ESPN in 2012. In 2014, Haggins was named one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation by Rivals.com for the fourth consecutive year. He captured the same top-25 mention from 247Sports in 2016.
Florida State is 4-6 this season, including 3-4 in the ACC to sit 4th in the Atlantic Division, and has won four of its last six games. The Seminoles became the first team in ACC history to win its next three games after an 0-4 start.
Odell Haggins has been instrumental in a defense that has shined behind an aggressive defensive line. FSU ranks 2nd in the ACC in red zone defense, total takeaways and interceptions while also ranking in the top-5 of the conference in 4th down defense, defensive touchdowns and fumbles recovered. The Seminoles had a stretch of eight consecutive stops on 4th-down attempts by opponents and have had two separate streaks of 12 consecutive defensive drives without allowing a point this season. In October, FSU held opponents to 0-for-6 on 4th downs, the most 4th-down attempts faced in the nation without allowing a conversion, and also held opponents to 6-of-12 in the Red Zone during October, the best defensive stop rate in the ACC and 2nd-best in the country
The defensive tackles are led by Robert Cooper, who has 29 tackles, including 1.5 for loss with 0.5 sack, and two quarterback hurries. Fabien Lovett has contributed 22 tackles, including 3.5 for loss with 1.0 sack, which are all single-season career-highs, and two quarterback hurries. Redshirt freshman Malcolm Ray has 18 tackles, 3.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks, and one quarterback hurry one season after making only two tackles. Sophomore Jarrett Jackson has 14 tackles, including 0.5 sack, after appearing in only one game last season. The group has also helped with the production of FSU’s standout defensive ends, Jermaine Johnson II and Keir Thomas. Johnson leads all defensive linemen with 61 tackles, and his 11.0 sacks and 16.0 TFLs are both 1st in the ACC and top-5 in the country, while Thomas has added 4.5 sacks and 9.0 TFLs with seven quarterback hurries.