Florida State reserve quarterback Bailey Hockman is transferring after landing third on the depth chart behind starter Deondre Francois and backup James Blackman, an FSU official confirmed.
Hockman, a redshirt freshman, was absent from Seminoles practice Friday.
He was an underdog in the starting quarterback battle, but Hockman was hoping to move up the depth chart.
Instead, he’s looking to earn playing time more quickly elsewhere.
Trent Thompson, Hockman’s role model growing up in Power Springs, Ga., said he understood the transfer decision.
“He’s a really smart guy and has a lot of smart people around him and at the end of the day he has to do what’s best for him and his family, and he will make the right decision and end up where he needs to be,” Thompson said.
Before confirming his transfer plans, Hockman said he was focused on helping the Seminoles after falling short of earning the starting job.
“Of course, we were upset at first, but it’s about winning ball games and whatever gives us the best chance to win is what I think is right,” Hockman said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help this team.”
FSU coach Willie Taggart said Monday after he announced Francois was the Seminoles’ starter he hoped Blackman and Hockman would remain focused on learning the offensive game plan.
“I think a guy like James and going through what we went through last year, he understands he’s got to be ready, and not sit around or pout or anything. I mean just like that he can be in the game just like [what] happened before,” Taggart said.
“I think we all know what kind of a guy James is and know that he will work his tail off to be ready and the same thing with Bailey. I know a lot of you have not got the chance to see [Hockman], but he’s the same way. He’s going to work and compete and make sure he’s ready to go as well.”
Hockman’s departure leaves FSU with two starting quarterbacks on the roster.