In the least surprising announcement in a while, Florida State football went public with the obvious: Redshirt-sophomore signal-caller James Blackman will begin the 2019 season as the Seminoles’ starting quarterback.
Blackman, now listed as 6’5, 195, was thrust into the spotlight in 2017, when then-starter Deondre Francois’ season ended via injury during the opener against Alabama. Blackman started the rest of the way as a true freshman, helping the ’Noles to a 7-6 record and an Independence Bowl win over Southern Miss in a rocky season defined by Jimbo Fisher’s defection to Texas A&M. He finished the year 173-297, with a 58.2% completion percentage, while amassing 2,230 yards. He connected on 19 TD passes to 11 interceptions, and his passer rating was 135.0.
Francois resumed the starting role last year, while Blackman saw action in four contests, which allowed him to redshirt. His 2018 line: 33-51 for 510 yards and a completion percentage of 64.7%. His TD-INT ratio was 5-1, and his rating rose to 177.1.
On the field, Blackman brings a great deep ball to the pocket, which could make for an explosive duo with home-run threat Tamorrion Terry. Terry redshirted in 2017 when Blackman was the starter, but in the latter’s lone start last year, the two showed off quite a connection. Terry had five catches for a career-high 142 yards and two scores.
Blackman is a capable runner with long strides, but he’s not especially evasive. With his slight frame, he really should seek out sidelines— or slide.
Between the whistles and off the field, Blackman has embraced his leadership role. He’s well liked and respected by his teammates.