Florida State’s quarterback competition just got a lot easier to project. Noles head coach Jimbo Fisher said Saturday that senior Sean Maguire will miss 4-6 weeks with a bone spur in his foot after the senior incumbent showed up to practice in a walking boot. That leaves redshirt freshman Deondre Francois as the almost certain starter for FSU’s season opener against Ole Miss on Sept. 5.
In all likelihood, Francois, a former four-star who arrived in Tallahassee as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the 2015 class, was going to win the job anyway—he’d already begun taking first-team reps in practice this week. Maguire was up and down after taking over midway through last season, completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 1,520 yards, 16 touchdowns and six picks. Four of those interceptions came in the Noles’ ugly Peach Bowl loss to Houston.
While Fisher did say that Francois is the current leader for the starting gig, Jimbo stopped short of calling the competition over. Here’s FSU blog Tomahawk Nation on the other options behind center:
Although few were projecting Maguire to start against Ole Miss on September 5th, the injury delivers a major blow to the Seminoles’ quarterback depth. Should he be named the starter, Francois will be supported in the season opener by redshirt sophomore J.J. Cosentino, who has looked severely out of place in his limited in-game reps with the first team, and Malik Henry, a talented hurler with significant upside who is, admittedly, a true freshman.
Fisher made sure to state after practice that Henry and Cosentino are “getting better” but they will likely force little resistance from Francois to seize the starting spot on September 5th.
Francois is certainly a more talented option than Maguire, but he’s also inexperienced, which should even the playing field a bit against a young Rebel secondary replacing Trae Elston and Mike Hilton.