Monday, April 15, 2013
Spring Questions: The quarterbacks
By David M. Hale
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Spring practice arrived with some significant questions, and it ended with at least a slightly clearer indication of some answers. This week, we'll take a look at five of the biggest question marks of the spring and decipher what we learned and how much further the Seminoles have to go before the season kicks off.
First up: The quarterbacks
The question: Which of Florida State's four talented backups could take over for EJ Manuel and win the starting job?
Redshirt freshman Jameis Winston appeared to climb the quarterback depth chart this spring with a star quality that none of the other contenders possessed.
The possibilities:Clint Trickett entered the spring as the de facto No. 1 thanks to two career starts and three years on the sideline as Manuel's backup. Sophomore Jacob Coker was next in line, followed by redshirt freshmen Jameis Winston and Sean Maguire. Each had their supporters, but Winston's recruiting pedigree made him the most intriguing of the bunch.
What we learned this spring: Winston can back up the hype. The freshman split his attention between football and baseball throughout the spring but still wound up as the most impressive of the four candidates vying for the job, which speaks to his athletic ability and mental resolve.
"I don't have a social life," Winston joked.
Winston might not have time to get out much these days, but he's certainly got his share of admirers. He worked his way from third string to effectively splitting reps with the No. 1 offense by the end of spring practice, and he delivered in the spring game, completing 12 of 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
What's left to decide: Jimbo Fisher still isn't naming a starter, and Trickett and, to a lesser degree, Coker and Maguire remain in the mix. But Winston has clearly established himself as a potential star. Whether he starts the opener remains to be seen, but the notion that he'll eventually be Florida State's starting quarterback feels like something of an inevitability at this point.