Ducks offer Taggart’s son, 15, others scholarships
EUGENE — When Willie Taggart was hired at Oregon, his 15-year old son was initially unsure of the move.
“He started to really like the school he was at so he was a little down when I took the job,” Taggart said of Willie Jr. soon after Dad was hired as football coach in December. “He started high school and started playing ball. He had an opportunity to compete for the starting job as varsity quarterback so he was a little down.
“Then some of the local kids here started reaching out to him on social media. That made it easy for him so he was like ‘Dad, I can’t wait to get out there now.’”
This week, Taggart decided to try and extend his son’s stay in Eugene by offering him a scholarship.
“Thankful for my first offer from the UO,” Willie Taggart Jr. posted Thursday on Twitter.
Taggart’s wife, Taneshia, will move to Eugene after the school year with Willie Jr. and 10-year old son Jackson as well as 1-year old daughter Morgan. Willie Taggart Jr. is a freshman at Tampa Catholic High School.
“They had him at quarterback, defensive end, running back, receiver and defensive back, he can play it all,” Willie Taggart said. “He is a basketball player, too. He’s pretty tall, taller than I am.”
Taggart Jr. revealed his offer one day after the son of new wide receivers coach Michael Johnson announced that he too received an offer from the Ducks. Michael Johnson Jr., a 6-foot-4, 185-pound sophomore, is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class by 247Sports.com.
“Extremely honored to have received an offer from the University of Oregon,” was the tweet Wednesday from Michael Johnson Jr., who was coached by his father at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Oregon could have another recruit from its coaching staff as 6-foot-1, 170-pound Raymond Woodie III, the son of the new special teams coordinator, has been offered scholarships from USC and Michigan State as an athlete in the Class of 2019. He played quarterback last year at Carrollwood Day High School in Tampa.
Raymond Woodie Jr. coached defensive ends and linebackers at Western Kentucky under Taggart from 2010-12 before joining him again at South Florida. He coached linebackers for the Bulls from 2013-15 before being defensive coordinator last season.
Oregon’s new coaching staff might load up a local high school football team if the trio of sons all attend the same school, although Johnson told The Oregonian he plans to stay in California and finish high school. Johnson and Woodie will be juniors next season; Taggart will be a sophomore.
If Taggart or Woodie attend Sheldon, they could team up with Patrick Herbert, another 2019 recruit who recently got an Oregon offer to play alongside his brother, quarterback Justin.
All three of the coaches’ sons have played quarterback in high school, but Johnson is a top recruit at that position, and Woodie and Taggart are versatile enough to play other spots.
In a couple of years, Taggart will have another son headed to high school and later, his daughter.
“Morgan is the best athlete in the family,” he said during his introductory press conference.