According to Coley Harvey, Clint Trickett is slightly ahead of the pack, as he should.
Trickett is quite clearly the early leader to win FSU’s quarterback competition.
But shouldn’t he be? After all, he’s the four-year player. He’s the one who has been in Fisher’s system the longest. He’s the one who has actually started games, albeit two, for the Seminoles.
From his reads to his check-downs to his questions to Fisher at the line of scrimmage to his decision-making, accuracy and ability to run the option and zone read, Trickett has looked like the experienced veteran.
None of that is to take anything away from what the other three quarterbacks showed in the two days reporters had a chance to see them all go live. The athleticism, size (in two cases), arm strength and raw, malleable tools and potential you’ve been hearing about is most definitely there for each of them. Jameis Winston will be a confident quarterback. He will be a starter. He will be every bit of the dual-threat signal-calling weapon that he was recruited to be … in time.
Jacob Coker, likewise, will be a starter. He will be the large-bodied, versatile gunslinger that he has been advertised to be … in time.
Sean Maguire also will be a knowledgeable field general who can comfortably take an offense down the field whenever it needs a score … in time.
The only question surrounding those three is “when?” When will that time come for each of them? It’ll arrive once they each know Fisher’s offense as well as Trickett and better understand the nuances of being a starting college quarterback.
Trickett’s time, for now, appears to have come. He seems to have a better sense of who he is as a quarterback. He also seems more comfortable leading both the starting and backup units of offensive linemen and skill players. But again, he’s the experienced one of the group. If any one of the four quarterbacks should be playing that way right now, it better be him.
But the remaining months and days are an indication that this race is indeed a marathon and not a sprint. Each of the other three have plenty of time to see if his respective time arrives. If it does for just one of them, Trickett, the son of newly extended offensive line coach Rick Trickett, may not enjoy starting status after all. Following two seasons as EJ Manuel’s understudy, he may be in for yet another year as a backup.
One thing that is currently certain, though, is that after two days of open practices and two weeks of total workouts, it is evident that Fisher has an enviable decision. The Seminoles have four talented quarterbacks who could start at most other schools. There are coaches who wish they had to pick and choose a starter from this group.
If you haven’t been paying much attention to this quarterback race, your time has come. Buckle up, this should be an interesting five months.
Sometimes, as the world saw with Russell Wilson last year, poise and talent can make up for experience. That is the exception to the rule, however, and not the norm. Nothing against Coker, Winston, or Maguire, but Trickett has poise and experience on his side. Winston, more so than his counterparts, has the raw talent that Jimbo Fisher will mold over the next few years. Because Trickett has poise and experience, he will win the quarterback battle. He should also feel somewhat comfortable going on the road to Clemson and Florida. He’s already started on the road against Clemson before and proved that he’s capable of performing. Many detract from that performance by noting how bad that Clemson defense is, and I can’t argue that, but he was able to prove he could go into a hostile environment and compete at a high level.
The question is, with Trickett holding the keys to the first team offense, can Trickett continue to improve. We don’t know what his ceiling is, but many assume it is lower than Winston’s. The thing is, if Trickett’s ceiling allows us to lose only 1 or 2 games this year, then he’s our guy.