FSU Football: Do Noles have top QB depth chart this season?

FSU Football has to quarterbacks that have the experience of playing a full season of games – a feat that hardly any other FBS school can match.

In just over five months, the FSU football team will be back on the field for the 2018 season when they host the Virginia Tech Hokies – and barring an absolutely insane scenarios of injuries or suspensions, they will be led by a quarterback who either has one full year of experience under his belt or one who has nearly a full year of experience.

With all due respect to the others at the position, the race for starter is between the 2016 leader – Deondre Francois – and the man who replaced him in the fourth quarter of last season’s opener, James Blackman.

Francois has been talking part in FSU football’s spring drills and so far looks like he is progressing well from that devastating knee injury suffered in the fourth quarter against Alabama – one that required surgery and thrust a 6’5″, 169 lbs. freshman from Belle Glade into the starting lineup a lot quicker than anyone thought possible.

In 2017, Blackman finished his 12 games as starter throwing for 2,230 yards to go with 19 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 29 times he had to get up after being sacked. Francois threw for over 200 yards with a touchdown, two picks and was sacked three times by the Tide before getting hurt – but in 2016, his numbers went for over 3,300 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions while being sacked 34 times.

Translation: both players are battle tested and able to be a starter again. But are they one of the best units in college football? Well, one website thinks so. College Football News rated FSU football as having the ninth best quarterback depth chart in the FBS this spring.

The off-the-field issues don’t appear to be a barrier for Francois, and he’s expected to be healthy and ready to go for the start of the season. Last year’s starter, James Blackman, has the experience to push for the job.

The off field issues noted above refer to an alleged altercation between Francois and his pregnant ex-girlfriend, with Tallahassee Police finding there was not enough evidence to support charges against either party.

New head coach Willie Taggart has indicated he is going to give both men, as well as redshirt freshman Bailey Hockman, a fair chance to go out and win the starting spot. While Blackman showed plenty of heart and talent last season and Hockman has a bright future, the smart money has to go on Francois getting his old job back barring a setback with his knee.

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