Florida State QB competitors: Sizing up James Blackman vs. Deondre Francois | NCAA Soccer


Florida State has a quarterback battle on its palms heading into the spring, considered one of paramount significance not just for the Seminoles’ 2018 season, but additionally the beginning of Willie Taggart’s tenure in Tallahassee.

The competitors facilities round Deondre Francois, whose dynamic dual-threat potential led FSU to an Orange Bowl win in 2016, and James Blackman, who stuffed in admirably when Francois went down with an harm earlier than maturing into the chief of the staff final season.

MORE: Florida State 2018 lookahead

Sporting Information is breaking down the quarterback competitions of a number of prime packages all through the nation. Here is what to search for in Florida State’s:

Florida State QB competitors

Who’s out?

J.J. Cosentino has transferred from Florida State, and Jake Rizzo, who redshirted final season, is not listed on the staff’s roster. The 2 mixed to finish 9 of 13 passes for 110 yards and a landing in 2017, so not a lot is misplaced in the way in which of manufacturing. Nonetheless, their absence means FSU has a depth concern with solely three quarterbacks on its roster after the staff failed to choose one up within the 2018 recruiting cycle. 

Who’s in?

Blackman. The true sophomore has 12 begins to his title from the 2017 season after Francois went down with a torn patella towards Alabama. Blackman, a pure passer, struggled early within the season not solely as a consequence of inexperience but additionally as a result of his offensive line was ravaged with accidents. Nonetheless, he grew into the staff’s chief over the course of the season, finishing 10 touchdowns to solely three interceptions within the final 4 video games of FSU’s seasons — all wins.

Francois. The 2016 ACC Rookie of the 12 months led FSU to a 10-win season in 2016, throwing for three,350 yards and 20 touchdowns to seven interceptions whereas including 5 scores on the bottom. Francois, then a redshirt-freshman, was too prepared to take hits, inserting second on the staff with 108 rushes. He has a ability set that extra fits Taggart’s extra fast-paced offenses, however will begin the spring properly behind Blackman as he continues recovering from his patellar harm.

Bailey Hockman. The No. 11 pro-style quarterback within the 2017 signing class redshirted final 12 months, which means he can compete for the beginning place. Although he doubtless will not be a authentic challenger, Taggart hopes to see him push the frontrunners and switch this duel right into a full-blown derby. He’ll have that chance with Francois doubtless unable to compete bodily.

MORE: Greatest QB battles of the spring

What makes this battle distinctive?

Not like the quarterback battles at Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson, Florida State’s competitors options quarterbacks who each have a 12 months’s price of expertise as a starter. Not solely that, they provide utterly totally different ability units, which might drastically change how the offense is run. Furthermore, with solely three quarterbacks on the roster, it is crucial for FSU that the runner-up be prepared in case of one other harm to the starter in 2018.

Three extra questions

1. When will Francois have the ability to compete?

Taggart on Tuesday offered an replace on Francois, who remains to be recovering from his harm: The primary-year FSU coach stated he would not “see him doing lots this spring,” which means Blackman will get these valuable first-team reps all through the spring. That stated, Francois ought to have the ability to return to compete someday earlier than the Seminoles’ season-opener towards Virginia Tech — however will that be sufficient time to reclaim the beginning spot?

2. Will we see cut up video games in 2018?

Taggart will certainly need to have this battle settled earlier than the Seminoles’ primetime matchup towards Virginia Tech — ranked 15th in Sporting Information’ way-too-early rankings — to start out the season. Nonetheless, it isn’t absurd to assume Taggart would give the “backup” significant snaps early within the season to verify the most effective participant is main the staff. FSU performs Samford, Syracuse and Northern Illinois after Virginia Tech, groups that ought to permit for the quarterback image to change into crystal-clear.

three. What is going to FSU’s quarterback scenario seem like in 2019?

This instantly relates to how the 2018 quarterback battle performs out. Greater than doubtless, the loser of this battle will switch from this system, contemplating each quarterbacks have beginning expertise. If that had been to occur, it will go away a grand whole of two quarterbacks on the roster, not practically sufficient for FSU to be snug with. The Seminoles have but to obtain a quarterback dedication within the 2019 class both, although Taggart figures to get a couple of earlier than all’s stated and achieved.

MORE: Taggart’s observe document signifies success at FSU

Stats that matter

12 months Comp. Pct. Yards TD-INT
2017 202 of 344 58.7 2,551 21-13
2016 244 of 421 57.9 three,443 23-Eight
2015 264 of 428 62.Eight three,325 22-9
2014 330 of 516 64.zero four,246 26-20
2013 288 of 441 65.three four,423 42-13
2012 288 of 426 67.6 three,714 24-10
2011 247 of 383 64.5 three,341 25-12
2010 250 of 394 63.four 2,938 24-13

The final two seasons of quarterback play haven’t been good when in comparison with the remainder of the Jimbo Fisher space. These seasons resulted in eight-year lows in completions (202 in 2017), share (57.9 in 2016), yards (2,551 in 2017) and passing touchdowns (21 in 2017). After all, these had been the outcomes of inexperience and accidents throughout key positions, so the numbers are extenuated considerably.

Regardless, it is on Taggart to enhance the Seminoles’ passing recreation in 2018, no matter who’s taking up at signal-caller. Whereas Francois has the dual-threat potential that higher fits his offense (a la Quinton Flowers at South Florida), Blackman carried out admirably as a real freshman final 12 months, particularly contemplating he was thrown into the hearth after Francois’ harm. Whoever takes over may have a 12 months of expertise underneath their belt as properly.

Who wins?

It is tough to think about a situation the place Francois takes the primary snaps towards Virginia Tech in the beginning of the season. Blackman, for all his freshman struggles in 2017, completed with 4 straight wins and improbable touchdown-to-interception ratio (in these 4 video games). Furthermore, he’ll have the prospect to place a long way between himself and Francois this spring whereas taking the vast majority of the snaps with the first-teamers. Granted, that does not imply Francois is out of the race — nevertheless it does imply he has an amazing distance to cowl if he needs to overhaul Blackman. Count on Taggart to offer him that likelihood early within the season.

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