Willie Taggart enters his first season at Florida State with a major decision to make at quarterback.
In one corner is rising junior Deondre Francois, who showed plenty of promise as a freshman but is still recovering from a torn left patella tendon that resulted in him missing practically his entire sophomore season.
In the other corner is rising sophomore James Blackman, who supplanted the injured Francois and came on strong towards the end of his freshman campaign.
Blackman passed for 2,230 yards and 19 touchdowns (11 interceptions) as Florida State finished with a 7-6 record.
The previous season, Francois totaled 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air while adding five rushing touchdowns while guiding the Seminoles to a 10-3 record.
It’s an intriguing battle that Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples deems “one of the nation’s most pleasant quarterback dilemmas.”
Staples believes a healthy Francois would hold the “physical edge” but countered that Blackman might be able to offset that with “intangibles”.
Francois revealed last week he’s ahead of schedule in the rehabilitation process from his left knee injury and believes he’ll be completely healed by the summer.
Francois won’t play in the Florida State Garnet and Gold spring contest, slated for 6 p.m. ET April 14.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Francois told Orlando Sentinel reporter Safid Deen. “Doc said I’m a bit ahead of schedule than what he expected. That’s a good thing. We’re still taking it slow.”
Taggart intends to give each a fair shot to prove their worth.
“They will not be able to blame the coach for them not playing,” Taggart said to SI. “They will get the opportunity to go out there. It’s on them to execute.”