The hits keep on coming for Florida State.
When FSU dismissed starting quarterback Deondre Francois from the program over the weekend, it was left with just one eligible scholarship quarterback for the 2019 season: James Blackman. FSU also has Jordan Travis, a transfer from Louisville, on scholarship, but he has to sit out next season to satisfy the NCAA’s transfer requirements.
That made it absolutely paramount for the Seminoles to land a quarterback in its 2019 recruiting class. Willie Taggart’s top two targets were John Plumlee and Lance Legendre.
He came up empty on both.
FSU was seen as the favorite to land Legendre’s signature, but Mike Locksley and the Terrapins were able to swoop in late in the process and get a commitment on National Signing Day. Jerry Phillips, Legendre’s coach at Warren Easton High School, told Rivals.com that the chance for early playing time was a big part in Legendre’s decision.
“He has a shot at starting right away at Maryland,” Phillips said. “They got (Locksley). He likes the coaches, he likes the offensive coordinator, and he really likes Coach Locksley. He’ll have a chance to compete for a starting spot right away, as soon as he steps foot on campus from what I hear. I hear they’re loaded at all the skill positions and they just need a trigger man, so he’ll fit in real well.”
While it’s a big addition for Maryland, it’s a brutal turn of events for Florida State. FSU was in scramble mode after Sam Howell, one of the top pro-style quarterback prospects in the country, decommitted from FSU and signed with North Carolina in the early signing period. Howell, rated No. 111 in the country by Rivals.com, was committed to FSU for eight months before staying in-state and signing with Mack Brown and the Tar Heels.
Unless FSU sends out a late offer to an under-the-radar prospect, it will go a second straight recruiting class without signing a quarterback. It’s more likely that FSU will heavily pursue an available graduate transfer quarterback to compete with Blackman and, at the very least, provide some semblance of depth at the position.
Blackman started in 2017 when Francois was injured and threw for 2,230 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The two competed to start ahead of the 2018 season, but Francois won the job.
Florida State went 5-7 in 2018, Taggart’s first year as head coach. It was the program’s first losing record since 1976 and first time missing a bowl game since 1981.
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