I think we are very blessed to have been able to hold on to a very talented coach and recruiter as long as we have. Let's take a quick look at just how successful Coach Haggins has been as the defensive tackle coach here.
In 1996, FSU allowed only 40 yards on average of rushing per game. I want to talk about the defensive line as a whole, but also single out the performances of Coach Haggins' defensive tackles.
The team put up a total of 67 sacks on the year in '96. This was with the likes of Reinard Wilson and Peter Boulware leading the way. While the spotlight was definitely on the former players listed the DTs quietly took care of business.
They were lead by Julian Pittman who finished with 53 total tackles on the season. He also kicked in eight tackles for loss and a sack. All in all, the DTs managed to rack up 168 tackles on the season. They also added 31 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. They also kicked in one safety to boot.
Starting in 1997, Jerry Johnson emerged as a monster on the defensive line for Haggins. Jerry finished the year 6th on the team in total tackles with 57. He also caught the runner behind the line 13.5 times and caught the quarterback 2.5 times. He forced two fumbles as well.
The Seminole line only gave up an average of 38 yards on the ground and had a total of 64 sacks on the year. This was a big year for Andre Wadsworth. Total the DTs finished the season with 203 tackles and 35 tackles behind the line. They also added 12.5 sacks on the year.
Johnson continued his successful campaign in 1998 but got a little help from the monster beside him named Corey Simon. These two spread terror throughout the ACC and finished 3rd and 4th overall for total in tackles on the team.
Corey finished the year with 65 tackles and 16 tackles for loss. He also kicked in five sacks and two forced fumbles to go along with those monster numbers. Jerry Johnson upped his tackle total from the previous year to an impressive 62 total tackles and 10 tackles for loss. He kicked in an extra three sacks and added a forced fumble as well.
The DTs finished the season with 222 total tackles and 41 tackles for loss. They also managed to get 14.5 sacks and force four fumbles. Overall, the Seminoles' defense allowed an average of 54 yards per game on the ground and totaled 40 sacks on the season.
The bash brothers continued their reign of terror on the ACC in 1999 by topping yet again their previous year's numbers.
Corey Simon finished 4th on the team in overall tackles with a whopping 84. He also finished with 21 tackles for loss and four sacks while forcing a fumble.
Jerry Johnson, not to be outdone, upped his tackle total again to 66 finishing 6th on the team and kicked in nine TFLs. He also added a sack.
The defensive line that year allowed an average of 60 ypg on the ground and totaled 29 sacks on the year. The DTs racked up 240 total tackles and added another 39 tackles for loss. They also sacked the QB 11 times and forced four fumbles on the year.
The year 2000 saw a new name rise to the top of the DT list. His name is Darnell Dockett, and he had a breakout year. Dockett finished the season with 66 total tackles and an impressive 19 tackles for loss. He also added a nice total of seven sacks to make his numbers even more impressive.
On the year, the defensive line managed to sack the QB 45 times while only allowing an average of 55 yards average on the ground. The DTs once again had a pretty big year with a total of 203 tackles. They also turned in an impressive 36 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. They also kicked in two forced fumbles.
In 2001, Dockett again led all DTs with a 68 tackles effort on the season. He made an even more impressive stat line by kicking in 22 tackles for loss, but he was successfully kept away from the QB for the season. He also managed to force two fumbles with his effort.
The 2001 season was really an abomination when it comes to the history of FSU football and the performance of their past defensive lines. The Seminoles managed only 14 sacks total on the season and allowed an average of 86 yards per game on the ground. The DTs totaled 172 tackles on the season, but stepped it up with 39 tackles for loss but only managed to pick up three sacks. They also caused the RB to cough the ball up three times.
The defense again struggled a bit through their 2002 campaign. They found a way to get to the QB a little more successfully with 34 sacks on the year but also gave up an average of 98 yards per game on the ground. Dockett again lead all the DTs with 57 total tackles which found him 5th overall on the team. He kicked in another seven tackles for loss and two sacks.
Travis Johnson made his move up Coach Haggins' list of successful DTs by totaling 50 tackles on the year with a solid 13.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He also forced three fumbles on the year. All total, the DTs managed to produce 215 tackles on the year but managed to camp in the opponent's backfield and rack up 42 tackles for loss. They also sacked the QB 11 times and forced four fumbles on the season.
The Seminole defense started its journey back to success with the 2003 season. They brought the average rushing yards per game back down to 77 and racked up 36 total sacks on the year. Haggins' group once again did their part by totaling 173 tackles and 34 tackles for loss. Eleven times they got to the QB and forced another four fumbles on the season.
Dockett once again lead the charge in the middle with a 55 total tackle effort. He managed 17 TFLs and got to the QB 1.5 times. He also was responsible for two of the four forced fumbles.
A young Brodrick Bunkley was starting to emerge from Haggins' tutelage and begin showing that he may be the next start DT to come through FSU's program. He managed 38 tackles and eight tackles for loss while sacking the QB 1.5 times. He also forced a fumble.
Travis Johnson stepped up to fill the hole left by Dockett in the 2004 season. He finished 6th overall on the team with 50 tackles. He also added a huge 18 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks along with a forced fumble.
The 2004 season would again see the FSU defense take a step closer to performing like the defenses of old. They only allowed 65 yards per game rushing and upped their sack total to 39 on the season. The DTs were again solid all the way around and totaled 86 tackles with a respectable 28 stops behind the line. They also added six sacks on the year.
Haggins took some rough blows in the off season before the 2005 season. Clifton Dickson, who looked to be on the verge of stardom, was kicked off the team for academics. They had also lost Chris Bradwell who was kicked off the team as well. This meant that Brodrick Bunkley would have to live up to his potential, and that he did.
Bunkley finished the season 6th on the team with 66 tackles, but his other numbers really tell the story. He was a permanent fixture in opposing backfields racking up 25 tackles for loss. He also added another nine sacks and forced a fumble. This is just an amazing performance and show that Haggins can really help a kid reach the next level and allow him to play to the height of his potential.
The defense as a whole again made strides and sacked the QB 44 times while allowing 77 yards per game on the ground. The DTs again with limited depth played lights out and held up their side of the bargain. Haggins' big boys managed 114 tackles with 37.5 of those coming in the opposing team's backfield. They also kicked in another 12.5 sacks and forced a fumble. A new name began to emerge from the ranks in Andre Fluellen. He picked up 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks for the 2005 season.
Last year was an odd year for the overall number of the defensive line. Kevin Steele had the linebackers play with a more attacking style, and they provided a lot of blitzes. In doing so the defensive line was asked many times to stay at home and contain the play while the LBs did their job. This had the defense ending the season with 27 total sacks while only allowing an average of 75 yards on the ground.
Fluellen stepped up and filled the gap left by Bunkley. Andre was many left to play in a rather new 3-4 system because of lack of depth due to injuries at the DT position. Even with this set back, Andre managed to pick up 28 total tackles with eight of those for loss. He also kicked in a half sack on the season. He had an often changing counterpart playing beside him but all in all considering injuries the DTs still had a decent year.
Haggins had to prepare the guys to play a longer number of plays than normal and at time be prepared to play the DT position in a 3-4 alignment. Most of our DTs are not the appropriate size to play a 3-4, but they met the bell each and every game. They totaled 82 tackles on the year and added 22 tackles for loss. They also managed three sacks on the year while forcing a fumble.
This year was a tough year for Haggins as he had to rotate guys less frequently and even had to convert a DE in Alex Boston over during the season to play in the middle.
I can't tell you after looking at these numbers how impressed I am with Odell Haggins. He is not only a great coach, but it is quite obvious that he is also an excellent evaluator of talent.
Let's take a look at his successes in the NFL draft over the course of his FSU career.
Round 2 Selection 56 Larry Smith
Round 1 Selection 6 Corey Simon Round 4 Selection 101 Jerry Johnson
Round 3 Selection 64 Darnell Dockett
Round 1 Selection 16 Travis Johnson
Round 1 Selection 14 Brodrick Bunkley
The players I listed are only the DTs who Coach Haggins has been involved with. Since the 1993 draft FSU has had at least one defensive line player selected with the exception of 2002.
Seven of those years saw at least one FSU defensive lineman go in the 1st round, and three of those years had at least one go in the 2nd round.