The Daily Nole

53 Days Until FSU Football: No. 53 Odell Haggins Becomes a Legend

Photo by Mark Wallhesier, provided by Garnet and Great, FSU archivist

There are 53 days left until Florida State football begins the 2018 season. As part of the offseason, we’re doing a countdown that highlights players, games, and specific moments from FSU football history.

On Wednesday, it was the 1954 FSU-NC State contest that featured an incredible string of absurd events.

Today, it’s current defensive line coach Odell Haggins, who wore No. 53 during his FSU playing career.

When his time at FSU is all said and done, Odell Haggins might go down as the greatest Seminole football figure of all time.

Key word: “figure”. Haggins initially came to Florida State in 1985 as a linebacker recruit from Bartow. He redshirted his freshman year to bulk up and played sparingly in 1986 before getting serious reps at nose guard in 1987.

Haggins went for 73 tackles and eight teams sacks, which was enough to earn an honorable mention honor from the Associated Press. He had a similar performance in 1988, this time getting a second-team All-American nod from the AP.

His senior year in 1989 launched him into the spotlight. Haggins recorded a career-high 100 tackles to go along with 5.5 sacks. Few defensive tackles had the raw power that Haggins did when fighting off blocks and blowing up a play before it started. For his efforts, he was named an All-American by six different outlets.

Yet his Seminole legacy did not stop there. Haggins returned to the university in 1994 after a short stint in the NFL. He worked his way up from assistant coach to defensive line coach in just two years, and he held the latter position for over 20 years. Most regard Haggins as one of the best defensive line coaches in the nation, with a knack for producing consistently great units and eventual draft picks.

Odell Haggins leads FSU onto the field against Louisiana-Monroe in his first game as interim head coach. (Mitch White/FSU athletics)

A dream finally came true in late 2017. Head coach Jimbo Fisher left FSU before the regular season concluded, meaning the Seminoles needed an interim head coach for their contest against Louisiana-Monroe and the eventual bowl game. Haggins stepped up to the plate and led the Seminoles to two victories by a combined 84-23 score. From player, to assistant coach, to head coach, Haggins completed an impressive “Triple Crown” in FSU football history.

Haggins has succeeded in every realm as a member of the Florida State football program. Something tells us that even when his coaching days are over, Haggins will still have some sort of role in the athletic department. Knowing his history, he’ll probably excel at that too.

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