Willie Taggart is still keeping it close to the vest about who the Noles’ starting QB will be for the first game. He’s had nothing, but great things to say about all three players competing for the job.
Willie Taggart: James Blackman, Bailey Hockman slightly ahead of Deondre Francois in QB race https://t.co/NkIDOsX4JC
— Safid Deen 💯💯💯💯 (@Safid_Deen) August 19, 2018
Florida State offensive coordinator Walt Bell says both the coaching staff and team are starting to see separation between the QBs, but no decision has been made.
— Safid Deen 💯💯💯💯 (@Safid_Deen) August 21, 2018
Then there are the reports coming out about the situational scrimmage last weekend. From what I hear, Francois tore it up.
Why the mixed messages?
Coaches tend to use the media in order to communicate with their players or send a message to fans. I’m not saying that Taggart is lying about how he’s publicly portraying his quarterback competition as much as embellishing his account about who he believes will be under center Labor Day against Virginia Tech.
I still believe that Francois is the starting quarterback if the opener were played today. He has a better command of the team and is doing what you’d expect a leader to do – bring bothers up as you get better.
He also seemingly is helping improve the entire quarterback group. That kind of makes the selfish and me-first rumors surrounding him fall apart.
I believe Blackman and Hockman are going to be going back and forth for the backup position this fall. There are things that both do very well, but I don’t think either are physically or maturity-wise ahead of Francois.
The encouraging part to all of this is that the players genuinely seem to be happy for each other when they have success and are the first to pick each other up when they have struggles. Position battles, especially at the QB spot, can tear a team apart as guys naturally pick sides. Some players have a stronger bond with other players or prefer the way someone throws the ball, but when you see those who are living through it handle it in a professional manner, it definitely makes it easy.
(James Coleman played fullback at FSU from 2002-2005; you can follow him on Twitter @biggamejames36)
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