Following Florida State’s loss to the Clemson, Willie Taggart mentioned multiple times that there are players who quit during the game. FSU fans have grown accustomed to games like these. There have been three similar occasions over the last three years when some players seemingly gave up, and Taggart promised that the handful of players who did won’t play.
Two of the players who didn’t give up were quarterback James Blackman and freshman wide receiver Keyshawn Helton. Blackman connected with the fellow former three star recruit for Florida State’s only touchdown of the day. Blackman entered the game after starter Deondre Francois left the game with an injury. Blackman said Helton is a prime example of guys still working hard and fighting for the team.
“Just showing you guys that we’re not quitting,” Blackman said. “Everyone is saying that we’re quitting, but just know that you got guys that are guys still out there fighting and working their tails off. He’s been working hard all week in practice and I feel like that was just his reward.”
Despite not being the starter, Blackman has been visibly supportive of his teammates in games and in practice. The sophomore takes his role on the team seriously and it has paid dividends as he is looked up to as a leader.
“It’s great,” Blackman said. “You’re still a part of the team. It’s not like you’re not part of the team. It’s been a great experience. It lets you sit back and absorb the great energy being given off. It’s just a great experience.”
“It hasn’t been difficult for me. Like I said, I’ve accepted my role and i’m behind my players 100%—my teammates.”
With Francois going down towards the end of the game on Saturday, Willie Taggart announced on Monday that his starting signal caller was “beat up” and listed him as day-to-day, saying he will need to be able to practice in order to play against N.C. State. If Francois can’t go, it will be Blackman that gets the nod against the Wolfpack. Despite the added pressure, he says that his mindset doesn’t change this week.
“Nah, it doesn’t change at all,” Blackman said. “I’ve been working all my life and i’m coming to work every day whether i’m the starter or not.”