With news coming out of Tallahassee that star QB Deandre Francois will miss the season with a knee injury. Freshman James Blackman is set to take over the offense.
So just who is James Blackman?
Blackman, from Belle Glade, FL (Glades Central) a four-star quarterback on Rivals and 247, is also a three-star on ESPN and Scout. He rates as the No. 391 overall prospect, the No. 18 pro-style quarterback, and the No. 51 player from Florida in the 2017 recruiting class.
His 6’5 frame is ideal for the quarterback position and has the arm strength that comes with it. The issue is his weight, which isn’t ideal for the 6’5 frame at around 185 pounds.
And obviously, his durability will challenged, it would appear, on a frequent basis.
So, with a freshman coming in to take control of the offense, a couple of things need to happen for the Noles to succeed:
The offensive line will need to step up. Francois was hit time and time again all last season as well as vs. Alabama. If Blackman gets banged around anywhere near as much, he may not last much of the season either.
The Seminoles will also need the running game to get going, something they failed to do vs. the Tide. Jacques Patrick and star freshman Cam Akers will now be asked to step up as well. A powerful run game is new inexperienced quarterback’s best friend.
If both the line and the running game take a leap forward, then that will allow Blackman to use his powerful arm. Allowing him to hit the defense over the top with the play action pass and get the likes of Auden Tate and Nyqwan Murray, would be best case.
The good news? He gets a full week of reps, non-stop coaching from Jimbo Fisher and a fairly easy opponent at home in Louisiana-Monroe this week to get better.
The bad news? Miami and their powerful fast defense are the opponents in two weeks.
Blackman better grow up quick for that.