With the decision by Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley four-star quarterback target Sam Howell to flip his commitment from Florida State to North Carolina on Wednesday, the Seminoles currently sit in a precarious position with regards to their quarterback situation. We covered that here.
The Seminoles currently list two quarterbacks on their roster – rising redshirt senior Deondre Francois, who graduated this past weekend, and rising redshirt sophomore James Blackman. Noles247.com has been told that the coaching staff is operating with the belief that just one of those two, Blackman, will be a part of the roster moving forward. Francois is exploring his options, as stated by Willie Taggart on Wednesday. A final decision by Francois regarding his future hasn’t been reached.
The Seminoles could potentially reach a point in January where they have just one scholarship quarterback on the roster. That quarterback, while talented, may not even be a proper fit for what Taggart and his future offensive coordinator want to accomplish with the offense.
With that in mind, FSU will be exploring any and all options moving into January on how to resolve their quarterback issue. Here are four names to know and what we know about FSU’s interest in them:
Jalen Hurts – The junior reserve quarterback for Alabama, who has plenty of starting experience and wins to his name, hasn’t officially entered the transfer market, but he did graduate following this past semester, which clears the way for him to transfer and immediately play, if he so chooses. Hurts has remained quiet on his ultimate plans. If he does enter the transfer market, he will be arguably the most pursued signal-caller due to immediate eligibility. FSU has done their research on Hurts, a Houston, Texas native, and if he enters the transfer market, they are certainly interested. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound quarterback is a dynamic runner, owns the all-time record for rushing touchdowns by an Alabama quarterback with 23 through 40 career games, and a more than capable passer that would be an instant plug-and-play type for the Seminoles.
Justin Fields – Unlike Hurts, the Georgia freshman quarterback has already entered his name into the transfer portal and it has become public that he is investigating a potential transfer. Fields could opt to remain in Athens, but it appears less likely that he does that compared to finding a new home. Barring a waiver from the NCAA, Fields would have to sit out next season as a transfer. He may have grounds to appeal for a transfer, but there is no guarantee it would be granted. So he is a potential redshirt candidate in 2019, and as such, wouldn’t provide immediate help to the quarterback situation. FSU is interested in Fields and communication has happened since his named entered the transfer port. Ohio State, Oklahoma and plenty of others are also believed to be interested. Fields, who along with Trevor Lawrence combined to be the top two signal-callers in the 2018 class, will be highly sought after with or without the ability to play in 2019.
Lance LeGendre – FSU is also searching the high school ranks for a potential signal-caller addition. LeGendre is a long-time target for FSU. The New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton four-star dual-threat quarterback has previously unofficially visited FSU and remains in communication with the staff. His recruitment has had a slow pace to this point in time, which benefits FSU as they were skittish on being aggressive with a second quarterback when Howell was committed. LeGendre hasn’t mapped out his January visit plans yet. The former Kansas pledge, who still hears from the Jayhawks, also recently mentioned FSU and Tennessee as suitors. Those who missed on a quarterback during the Early Signing Period will likely now come calling. He plans to wait until February to sign.
John Rhys Plumlee – The Hattiesburg (Miss.) Oak Grove four-star athlete/dual-threat quarterback is currently committed to Georgia. The Bulldogs are interested in using a blueshirt on him. FSU has reached out in recent days and become involved. Plumlee confirmed to Noles247.com that he ‘got a call from [FSU]. They are very interested.’ FSU is working to schedule an official with Plumlee, but no date has been set per the prospect. Plumlee, who is being pursued by more than just FSU, added that he is ‘listening to my options’.
Other names could and will likely emerge in the coming days and weeks as FSU continues to try and improve their quarterback situation.