FSU News discussed the possibility of Sean Maguire winning the starting job.
They say it’s the quiet ones you should worry about. The ones who you should keep an eye on. But what about the ones whom silence surrounds, the ones nobody is talking about? What do you do about them? In other words, what do you do about Sean Maguire?
Sean Maguire enters the heated quarterback competition as the man unknown by fans and media, the guy who people think has no shot of beating the veteran Clint Trickett, the beloved, dynamic recruit Jameis Winston or the big, strong-armed Jacob Coker. He is U-God of Wu-Tang Clan, Matt Saracen of the Dillon Panthers, Randy Jackson of the Jackson Five—he is the forgotten one.
But his teammates know, if one of them slips up, he’s prepared to sprint past them.
“He’ll surprise you now,” starting quarterback Clint Trickett said. “He can throw it, he can spin it. Reminds me a lot of myself when I first came in. He’s a good kid, too. He’s smart, he’s picking it up. I think he’ll surprise some people.”
Sean Maguire hails from West Orange, N.J., where he ran a Wing-T style offense at Seton Hall Prep. The Wing-T offense is usually reserved for high schools and small colleges because it’s an offense that works because of the system more than the skills of its players. However, in a Wing-T formation, a QB is forced to read option plays frequently (whether he should hand the ball off or keep it for himself) and throw it on the run a lot, two attributes featured in Florida State’s offense and attributes Maguire possesses.
The scouting report on Maguire, and why he received an early offer from FSU as a recruit, is he’s a guy with arm strength, smarts (he graduated with a 3.67 GPA), can move in the pocket and has the ability to make the important throws.
So while he may not be the strongest, fastest or most well-known of the four quarterbacks, he has the coach’s attention.
“I like him, that’s what I say,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Everybody kind of forgets about him, no one talks about him. I like to say, he wasn’t recruited here to sit on the bench. I think this guy is a very talented guy, has very good abilities, and I think will battle in this group.”
The expectation is Maguire would be meek throughout this process, that he would allow the others to surpass him because their natural abilities dictate it so. He’s not supposed to think he can fight with these guys, he’s not supposed to be a contender as the 2013 FSU starting QB, he’s not supposed to believe in himself.
But that’s the type of attitude Sean Maguire embodies: A guy on the outskirts of the competition who talks with the confidence of a man dead center.
“Everyone portrays it as them three, but, in my mind, and I know in coach Fisher’s mind, I’m right there,” Maguire said. “I’ve been working hard and this is my chance to prove I belong right there.”
He added: “I think the competition is awesome. I could have taken the easy way out and gone to some school up North and be starting, but I’d rather compete with the best. They always say compete with the best, be the best.”
Maguire isn’t shying away from the competition despite his anonymity. In some ways, the lack of attention has given him an advantage: Unlike Trickett, Winston or Coker who have fans shouting their support through campus and social media, informing them if they are #TeamJameis or #TeamJacob like they were deciding between characters of Twilight (#TeamEdward, by the way), Maguire operates without any of the distraction or pressure which celebrity embodies. All he has to do is what he was recruited to do—play football.
While that competition may drive Sean Maguire, it isn’t something he acknowledges as if he were in some kind of Mortal Kombat arena where he had to defeat each quarterback before being crowned champion. Sean Maguire is simply doing what Sean Maguire does: work and work and work. Trickett may have his experience, and Coker his arm, and Winston his astounding athleticism, Maguire has his effort.
These other quarterbacks may be better than him, but none of them will outwork him.
“I like to think that no matter what you do throughout your career, if you work hard and do the right things on or off the field, you will eventually be rewarded” Maguire said. “That’s why I love to stay in the weight room later than everyone, or I love to stay watching film, or stay after practice and throw. I just feel no matter what happens in life, if you continue to do that, you will be eventually rewarded.
“That’s the only way you can look at it for someone in my situation. If I were to just go through the motions, and do whatever, I wouldn’t accomplish anything. And they would surpass me as a player.”
Whether everyone remains quiet about him or not, Sean Maguire is part of this quarterback competition, and he’s announced his candidacy loud and proud.
I personally feel that Sean Maguire is the dark horse in this race–he strikes me as a clone of Christian Ponder. He’s not physically overwhelming, but he’s got the size to survive in college and the pros. From what we’ve seen, he has the arm and accuracy. We don’t know how he handles pressure, but we know he’s a very mature leader. He came here to compete knowing he would be 4th on the depth chart. He doesn’t care and he still feels that he has a chance to win the job.
He’s been given confidence, however, because Jimbo Fisher is telling him that he has a shot to compete. I believe it, but I think there would be a danger in naming Maguire the starter if he was better only by a hair or two. That scenario means one of Trickett, Coker, or Winston would be 4th string and, inevitably, they might consider transferring. However, if Maguire was head and shoulders better than the pack, then he should be named the starter without hesitation. I’m not sure any of the 3 quarterbacks will be head or shoulders above the pack which means the edge probably goes to Trickett. There’s little substitute for his experience.