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FSU Football practice report: the QB battle reignites

Who will start at quarterback for the Seminoles against the Fighting Irish on Saturday?

NCAA Football: Florida State Practice Tallahassee Democrat-USA TODAY NETWORK

It was a muggy, overcast morning here in Tallahassee and the Seminoles headed back to work as they prepare to head into freezing temperatures up in South Bend this weekend. Offensive coordinator Walt Bell and multiple offensive players were made available before practice including: tight end Tre’ McKitty, offensive lineman Alec Eberle, quarterbacks Deondre Francois and James Blackman, running back Cam Akers and wide receivers D.J. Matthews and Tamorrion Terry.


All eyes were on the two quarterbacks during this Tuesday morning practice. Francois missed last week’s contest at NC State because of a questionable injury that he appeared to have suffered during the blowout to Clemson. While Francois has started every other game this season, James Blackman threw for 421 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception earning him ACC Quarterback of the Week honors against the Wolfpack.

The QB Battle reheats?

During Monday’s press conference, Willie Taggart refused to name a starter for the upcoming game when pressed on who would get the start at QB1. Taggart said “We’ll see. We’ll see on Saturday. We’ll see on Saturday. We got to go through the week and see how Deondre is doing and see how these guys are practicing throughout the week and we’ll see on Saturday. We’ll make that decision later in the week.”

When asked about the quarterback battle, Deondre Francois appeared confident and said “I’m still the No. 1 guy. Coach Taggart continues to make that clear. James understands that, but James is always ready. Always ready to go if anything happens to me, God forbid, you’ve got a guy who can go in there and throw for 400 any given day.”

Francois also made an interesting comment about his injury that he was dealing with and appeared to contradict what was previously reported.

During practice, Francois took first-team reps during walk-throughs, but Blackman was switched back in during the first team’s second drive.

Offensive Line

The first-team offensive line appeared to consist of Brady Scott, Mike Arnold, Alec Eberle, Arthur Williams and Derrick Kelly.


OL Cole Minshew was not observed during Tuesday’s practice. He is dealing with a neck injury that he suffered during the NC State game and is considered day-today.

OL Landon Dickerson was not observed during Tuesday’s practice

TE Naseir Upshur was wearing a non-contact jersey.


True freshman DT Robert Cooper made his return to the practice field and appeared to be practicing at a full capacity. He missed last week after suffering from a concussion in the game against Clemson.

During ’Nole drills, Janarius Robinson had a dominant rep up against OL Jauan Williams and came up to tackle RB Anthony Grant at the line of scrimmage.

DB Levonta Taylor made his return to practice. He was absent last week from practice and did not travel with the team. He appeared to be practicing at a full capacity, but seemed to working with the second-team unit this morning.

The first-team unit appeared to consist of Stanford Samuels III, Asante Samuel, Jr., Hamsah Nasrildeen, and A.J. Westbrook.


LB DeCalon Brooks was wearing a non-contact jersey

Tomorrow, the media will have the opportunity to hear from DC Harlon Barnett and select defensive players