Florida State Seminoles football is slated to return just two scholarship quarterbacks in 2019 and did not take a QB in the 2018 class. Attrition of one must be planned for, and seems even. likely, given the recent news on Deondre Francois. It’s the nature of the position — in recent years, over 50% of all 4 and 5-star QBs haven’t completed their eligibility at the school with which they originally signed.
It’s also worth noting that the QB position is down nationally for the 2019 cycle compared to the incredibly loaded 2018 haul and before an expected strong crop in 2020.
However, it’d likely be better for FSU to take two QBs in the 2019 class, simply for depth purposes. But if it doesn’t find a HS QB it likes as a second, it could easily pursue a graduate transfer.
FSU has to do well with this position. It has a lot of potential playing time to sell — c/o 2019 prospects will come in with the chance to likely start multiple years.
- Lance Legendre, New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton: LeGendre is a four-star prospect (No. 231 nationally) who FSU has been in contact with since at least February, if not before. He is an excellent athlete at 6’2, 210, while his throwing is a bit of a work in progress. And his recruiting profiles list a ton of offers. Schools have told me there are two questions about LeGendre they are monitoring: How he bounced back from offseason shoulder surgery, and his qualifying status. LeGendre has decent passing numbers as a senior in a very tough New Orleans division, though he also had excellent teammates. If the two issues are OK, look for FSU to pursue.
- John Rhys Plumlee, Hattiesburg (Miss) Oak Grove: Plumlee is 6’1, 185, and he can absolutely fly. He is a good baseball player as well. His throwing motion is a bit awkward, but he gets it there. He is committed to Georgia, but Georgia has extended a blueshirt offer, which is not a true scholarship offer because it is delayed. Plumlee is definitely worth a look, and FSU coaches are already following him. Like LeGendre, Plumlee took his team to the state finals. he is rated as a four-star QB. Obviously, FSU is not the program that Georgia is right now, but FSU also has room, while Georgia does not, apparently.
- Perhaps someone Kendal Briles likes in Texas, assuming that hire is announced in the next week? I’m not going to put any name here, but that could be an option.
FSU should be looking for a transfer. My sources do not expect Deondre Francois to return, and even if he does, FSU should look for a transfer who can run the offense. Here are four obvious options.
- Justin Fields (Georgia): Fields is one of the best QB recruits of this generation. If he’s gettable, he is a game changer and the clear No. 1 choice.
- Jalen Hurts (Alabama): Hurts’ mobility would be great for this offense. I can say with confidence that FSU would love to have Hurts.
- Jordan Travis (Louisville): Travis is a QB I liked a lot as a recruit out of South Florida, and he has an FSU connection in that his brother Devon played baseball at FSU and is now on the Blue Jays. I do not know if Travis could get a hardship waiver to be immediately eligible or if he would seek one.
- D’Eriq King (Houston): If King has graduated (he was a true junior this year), or will graduate this spring or summer, and wants to test his skills on a bigger stage, there could be a fit. King tore it up for Houston this year before a meniscus tear.
Florida State lost QB Sam Howell to North Carolina. It was unable to overcome the loss of offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who offered Howell when Howell was younger. Bell was the position coach, coordinator, and area recruiter for Howell, and was the guy in Howell’s recruitment to the point that it made some in the program uncomfortable that they were unable to establish another coach as the 1B to Bell’s 1A.
This was a difficult situation, but one that came back to bite FSU in the backside badly when Bell left to take the UMass head coaching job. While Willie Taggart had tried to establish a better relationship with Howell, he was unable to do so to the extent needed to keep Howell and his family committed, and so FSU is looking for a QB. While Howell is considered a good, but not elite prospect, this is the sort of miss that can get a coach fired several years later, if the lack of QB depth were to result in a disastrous season.
FSU had to carefully manage the ego of parties involved in this, but I am confident that FSU was planning on taking two high school recruits in this class. It was simply going to have to take the second after the first was signed, sealed, and delivered. It’s not uncommon for recruits to want to be the only QB in a class (see Tim Tebow not going to Florida until after Snead decommitted), and schools commonly manage this problem by taking one early and one late. I say that to note that FSU’s interest in prospects is not out of the blue, but rather has simply been kept more on the down low.