Alex Turko (@aturko_23)
Florida State’s underachieving basketball team finally put Seminole fans out of their misery last Tuesday, losing to Louisiana Tech at home in the NIT tournament. Thankfully for FSU fans, the football team here in Tallahassee has returned to the gridiron for spring practice. Spring practice always brings plenty of storylines and excitement, but this spring is unique in the amount of hype and uncertainty that this particular team faces.
Jimbo Fisher saw seven coaches leave the staff in a matter of two months, which lead to a revamped and possibly improved contingent of coaches. With all of the new coaches in place for another run at an ACC title, the storyline that takes center stage is the highly anticipated quarterback battle.
Jimbo Fisher and new quarterbacks coach, Randy Sanders, will have a difficult time choosing the quarterback of the future this spring, as all signs indicate that this battle should carry on throughout fall practice as well. This is Coach Fisher’s first quarterback competition since Drew Weatherford’s attempt to hold off future 1st round draft pick, Christian Ponder, and Fisher’s first quarterback competition as a head coach.
Rising redshirt junior Clint Trickett was named as the “1st team quarterback” for the time being, a loose term, as Coach Fisher said all four of the quarterbacks will receive equal reps with the first team to give the coaches the best look for determining the team’s leader. Clint Trickett has played sparingly throughout his three years of play, with two career starts under his belt in place for NFL bound E.J. Manuel when he was injured. What Trickett lacks in size, he makes up for in his extensive knowledge of the intricate Jimbo Fisher playbook.
Fan favorite, Jameis Winston, is gaining popularity with the Seminole faithful on the baseball mound where he has been solid in relief pitching. Although he will continue to strike out opposing batters on the diamond, he will honor his football scholarship and not miss a single practice even if it means missing a baseball game. The rising redshirt freshman is hoping to strike out the other three quarterback candidates this spring with his improved knowledge of the playbook and overwhelming size and athletic ability.
Another quarterback that passes the eye test is rising redshirt sophomore, Jacob Coker. This Alabama native has a wonderful blend of athletic ability and poise in the pocket. In limited action last year you could see the competitive nature that Coker possesses, never more evident than his mid game scuffle after he took a cheap shot against Wake Forest last season. Coker will definitely challenge for the starting spot, as he will have had two full springs to soak up the playbook and let his talent take over since the plays should now be second nature.
The quarterback that is flying under the radar this spring is future redshirt freshman, Sean Maguire. Maguire was not as highly touted last year out of high school as his teammate Winston was, but this New Jersey native has shown enough for coach Fisher to deem this as a four-man race. Maguire is more of your prototypical pocket passer who reads the defense well and has limited turnovers.
With only one week of practice in the books this battle is far from over and should linger long into August. However after the spring game April 13th the fans and coaches should have a much clearer picture of who will be leading the offense out onto the field come that much anticipated Labor Day evening in Pittsburgh.
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