Florida State’s Quarterback Quandary

There is no position at any other school in the nation that is in the Florida State quarterback situation. There have been players who have transferred, quit, never signed, or have been dismissed. All of which can make for a lonely quarterback meeting room.

James Blackmon will return this season as the only signal-caller with experience. It was presumed that he would battle Deondre Francois for the starting position this season, with the loser of the competition expected to transfer. However, Francois was kicked off the team earlier this month after his girlfriend accused his of domestic violence, which made the battle a moot point.

Blackmon is now in the driver’s seat to run new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles’ offense. The updated scheme will cater to Blackmon’s talents as the Noles plan to spread the field, throw deep, go up tempo, all while still utilizing the run with talented running back Cam Akers. Still, Blackmon is lonely on the depth chart with the departures and FSU’s inability to sign a high school quarterback over the past two years.

Quarterbacks Not In Tallahassee

Francois is only one of the former Seminoles not wearing garnet and gold this season. Bailey Hockman decided to continue his career at North Carolina State while J.J. Consentino and Jake Rizzo are no longer with the team. Add to that the high school quarterbacks who did not sign with the Seminoles.

Sam Howell, a player Florida State had strenuously recruited, signed with North Carolina in the early signing period. Lance LeGendre went to Maryland, and John Rhys Plumlee signed with Ole Miss. In addition, Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson decided to transfer to Maryland instead of signing with Florida State.

The Backup Quarterback

Now, the only other quarterback Florida State has as a reserve is walk-on Nolan McDonald. Fortunately, McDonald is not a typical walk-on. A product of prep-power Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, McDonald originally signed with Air Force. However, he did not take to Academy life and left before appearing in a game for the Falcons. McDonald, the brother of FSU tight end Camm McDonald, has impressed the Seminoles defense in his role as a scout-team quarterback, but coach Willie Taggart would prefer to have more experienced depth.

Is Quarterback Help On The Way?

The cavalry is on the way for Florida State. Jordan Travis is already on the FSU campus after transferring from Louisville. However, he must sit out this season as a transfer, but he is petitioning the NCAA to become eligible immediately. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino was fired during the season, and none of his assistant coaches are staying with new coach Scott Satterfield. This gives Travis an argument to play right away. Travis can petition to be eligible this season because of the disarray at Louisville, an argument former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson used to become immediately eligible at Michigan.

Another possibility is landing Nick Starkel who will be a graduate transfer from Texas A&M. Starkel has options, however. He is also reportedly considering joining his former coach Kevin Sumlin at Arizona, heading to Georgia Tech to run Geoff Collins’ new spread offense, or heading to the University of Louisiana. Starkel will visit FSU March 29, one week before the Seminoles’ spring game.

FSU’s quarterback situation could go two different ways. The Seminoles could have three quarterbacks with big-time college experience, or they could have one signal-caller they will pray stays healthy all season.

The answer to the Florida State quarterback quandary will come soon.

Main Photo Credit:

File Photo: Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12). November 10, 2018 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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