FSU football is in the midst of a culture change where competition at every position is the expectation.
FSU football missed on landing a high school quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class. I discussed how it was a bad look optics wise, but wouldn’t really impact the upcoming season earlier this week.
In fact, I think it’s actually a good thing the Noles missed on Lance Legendre in the grand scheme of things.
Follow me back to the offseason prior to the 2016 season. Deondre Francois had redshirted the previous year while Sean Maguire and Everett Golson took starting snaps.
Golson was a graduate transfer who exhausted his eligibility after that season which left Maguire and Malik Henry who enrolled early in the 2016 spring semester.
It was expected for Henry to redshirt and Maguire was hampered by a foot injury suffered in fall camp which opened the door for Francois to seize the starting job.
Francios goes through the 2016 season as the starter and Maguire graduates with FSU signing Bailey Hockman and James Blackman in the 2017 recruiting cycle.
Hockman enrolled early but was expected to redshirt along with James Blackman who didn’t enroll until the summer while Malik Henry was dismissed from the team.
Guess what that meant?
There really wasn’t any competition for Deondre Francois’s job going into that season. I fully believe that is one reason why Francois developed the attitude/persona that he did.
He knew he was going to be the starting QB and didn’t have a legitimate threat pushing him to do everything to compete at the highest level.
Now, I do not believe James Blackman has the same mindset as Deondre Francois. I think Blackman will work hard regardless, but Lance LeGendre or Sam Howell were not going to challenge him for the starting job going into 2019.
That’s why it’s super important to bring in a graduate transfer quarterback this summer. Yes, Blackman will likely put in the required work but having someone pushing him changes the game.
It’s just like running the forty alone and then actually racing someone that’s capable of beating you. The odds of you running faster because you have competition are much higher than running solo.
I believe Blackman has paid his dues, but I also believe Willie Taggart must hold himself accountable in regards to establishing a real competition at every position to continue the culture change with FSU football.
Blackman been at FSU two years and will have a six month head start over whoever decides to enroll as a graduate transfer.
If Blackman does not understand that and wishes to transfer without competing then he’s not the leader everyone thought he was.