A year ago, the Florida State quarterback position seemed set.
That’s not as true entering 2017 even with last year’s starter, Deondre Francois, returning.
In contrast to last year’s heated spring quarterback battle between Francois, Malik Henry and Deandre Johnson, Florida State during 2017 spring has four quarterbacks on the roster: Francois, J.J. Cosentino, and two true freshmen in Bailey Hockman and James Blackman.
That makes the position one to watch. A player-by-player look:
* Francois in 2016 made Florida State fans forget it was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The redshirt freshman led a potent offensive attack, which resulted in a 10-3 record and an Orange Bowl victory over Michigan. Despite how impressive the freshman looked, the Seminoles are expecting even more out of him this year. Although Francois passed for 3,350 yards and 25 touchdowns last season, he showed some room for improvement – in particular, his tendency to take punishing hits. More than just losing yardage or field position with the hits he takes, Florida State must be concerned with losing Francois to injury. While Francois has proven he is tough, the Seminoles have just three other quarterbacks on scholarship, two of which will be true freshman.
* Cosentino, a junior, stands as the most logical backup to Francois this season, but has looked highly inept in his time behind center. In his reps as a starting quarterback for Florida State, Consentino has completed 9-of-17 passes for 46 yards.
* Hockman. The good news for the Seminoles in terms of a backup is that Hockman enrolled early in an attempt to move up the depth chart. Hockman (6 feet 2, 187 pounds), a four-star recruit, is regarded as the safer prospect between he and Blackman. Combine that with his extra work, and Hockman could easily wind up as the No. 2 quarterback come fall.
* Blackman (6 feet 5, 163 pounds), the more intriguing of the two freshman prospects because of his size and athleticism, is a three-star prospect from Belle Glade and the No. 18 pro-style quarterback in the country. He likely will be more of a project than Hockman, needing to put on weight before he would be ready to start. He also isn’t arriving in Tallahassee until summer, which already puts him behind Hockman on experience and comfort level.
Consentino will undoubtedly be the No. 2 quarterback throughout the offseason on experience alone. Whether Hockman can ease the minds of Seminoles fans is still left to be seen, but it will certainly make for an interesting summer.
(You can follow Jordan Spina on Twitter @jspina904)
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.