For the first time this calendar year, Florida State made some returning football players available to the media, as they get ready in a few weeks for spring practice. And, it’s been well-documented FSU is down to one primary option at quarterback, returning red-shirt sophomore James Blackman.
However, what one of their players uttered Monday not only caught our attention, but should really stop before it ever gets going.
That is to say, any and all comparisons of Blackman to former Heisman Trophy and National Championship-winning quarterback Jameis Winston must cease.
— Wayne McGahee III (@WayneMcGaheeIII) February 18, 2019
Granted, it was a defensive player, sophomore Asante Samuel Jr., who invoked the name, “Jameis Winston” to the media Monday morning. However, still you’re being unfair, when you even bring that name up, right now.
Blackman perform admirably, as a true freshman in 2017 after being thrust into the starting role, when Deondre Francois injured his knee in the opening game loss to Alabama. However, he never at any point in that season resembled the poise, the dissecting of defense and the arm that Winston showed from the beginning of his first red-shirt freshman season of 2013.
That season began with Winston dominating the Pitt Panthers on Labor Day night. And, he never looked back as Florida State went undefeated and won the BCS title game, when Winston threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin in the final minute of the Rose Bowl.
Yes, Samuel’s quote to the media Monday was about Blackman’s leadership and his exact words were:
“He’s a Jameis Winston type of guy. Everybody loves him. Everybody knows he’s going to work hard. Come out and play. Energy. Just glad to have him.”
It’s well-known that Blackman is a popular player almost his teammates and he does have some talent, but the thought of Blackman being able to lead Florida State to an unbeaten season, while winning a Heisman Trophy is simply silly.
Plus, Samuel wasn’t even around when Winston last played five years ago.
For now, the Noles have a new offensive coordinator in Kendal Briles and has to revamp their offensive line after coach Greg Frey was dismissed last weekend.
There has been a lot of speculation that Florida State is going to bring in a transfer quarterback from somewhere who would be immediately eligible, but for now Blackman is in the pressure cooker, as the only scholarship quarterback.
And no one in the FSU locker room is doing him any favors by comparing him to a guy that was eventually the number one overall pick in the NFL draft.
That is, until Blackman’s level of play rises more than it did, when he played 12 games in 2017, and for the one brief game, where he threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns against NC State last November.
If and when that begins to happen in 2019, then the mention of Winston’s name can come up.
Otherwise, the Seminoles are only hurting themselves before they ever play games
FSU and LSU announced two game neutral site series Tuesday
In an effort to continue to beef up their out-of-conference schedules, FSU announced on Tuesday that they will play newly-crowned National Champion, LSU in two neutral site games coming soon in 2022 and 2023.
The Seminoles made the announcement through social media and their website that they will be playing the “Bayou Bengals” first in New Orleans and then, in Orlando:
Noles vs. Tigers set for '22/'23!!!https://t.co/nfLwLGhXE3
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) February 11, 2020
Both teams will be given the benefit of essentially a “home-away-from-home neutral-site game” on Labor Day weekend. LSU considers New Orleans to be their second home and just won the College Football Playoff National Championship game over Clemson there on January 12.
The first game with the Noles will be on Saturday night September 4th, 2022.
FSU will, then play “hosts” in Orlando against the Tigers the following year on Saturday night September 3rd. The Noles recently played a season-opening game with Ole Miss, whom they defeated, at Camping World Stadium in 2016.
New Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell had this to say in the school statement about adding the games coming soon,
“I’m excited about this series,” head coach Mike Norvell said. “Florida State has a rich tradition in Louisiana, the home of many former Seminoles including Warrick Dunn and Travis Minor, and all three of our national championship teams had at least one player from Louisiana. It continues to be an important area for us now. We added two players from Louisiana in our first signing class, and it will be great for them and other future Noles to be able to play back in their home state.
This series matches two of the iconic brands in college football, and I know our fans will have a great time in New Orleans and Orlando. I want to thank our administration for all their hard work on this and for continuing to pursue first-class experiences for our student-athletes.”
These will be the 10th and 11th times that Florida State and LSU will meet. The Noles hold a 7 – 2 advantage, including winning four straight games in the series. It is the first time the two schools will have played since 1991.
Further, Florida State is 9 – 2 in their last 11 games opening a season on a neutral field. The Seminoles were to have played Boise State in Jacksonville last Labor Day weekend, but the threat of Hurricane Dorian moved the game to Tallahasse.
That’s where the Broncos upset the Seminoles and sent coach Willie Taggart into a second year spiral that resulted in his firing in November.
The Noles are also 8 – 2 all-time in games at the Superdome with the most prominent one coming in the BCS Championship Game win over Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.
Deion tells Dan Patrick he’d consider coaching Hurricanes
NFL Hall of Famer and former Seminoles All-American defensive back Deion Sanders is making the rounds for broadcast outlets at Super Bowl 54 in Miami,. And it’s not just his NFL Network duties that made some news on Tuesday. Rather, it’s an interview, where he expressed more desire for coaching college football and maybe, even in the city where he currently is working this week.
Sanders appeared on The Dan Patrick television – radio show Tuesday in advance of the 49ers and the Chiefs meeting for pro football’s title at Hard Rock stadium Sunday night.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) January 28, 2020
And, while most of the interview centered around the NFL and the Super Bowl match-up, Patrick naturally turned to Deion’s desire to apparently be a head coach in college football and maybe, as soon as next year.
This subject came up after Sanders was apparently under consideration to possibly be the new head coach at FSU, when they fired Willie Taggart in early November. The school and AD David Coburn did confirm that they had a serious formal discussion with “Prime Time” about building a staff, etc.
That’s when Patrick turn the questioning to Sanders’ son and what might test his loyalty to FSU and possibly, coaching at a hated-rival like the University of Miami.
“What if ‘The U’ called?” Patrick asked.
“You know what is so funny, cuz I saw that when I was watching you on television (earlier in the day when Patrick said he would ask Sanders about Miami). My son is a phenomenal quarterback. My youngest son. He has a plethora of offers. We’re going to visit ‘The U’ on Saturday,” Sanders said.
“But would you coach the U?,” Patrick quickly asked again.
“You know what. You never know,” Sanders replied leaving the door open, like most do.
“Are you a ‘package deal’ with your son,” asked Patrick?
“I’ve never been a package deal with any-body,” Sanders shot back, which drew laughter from the studio audience at Patrick’s Super Bowl show site.
Now, the Hurricanes have obviously floundered for much of the 2010s, including 2019 with first-year coach Manny Diaz struggling mightily down the stretch of his first season. Miami lost it’s final two games to finish 6 – 6, and then, were shutout humiliatingly by Louisiana Tech 14 – 0 in the Independence Bowl.
Miami has swapped offensive coordinators after Diaz fired Dan Enos after just his first season. The Canes have hired former Auburn and SMU play-caller Rhett Lashlee to replace him. And, they secured Houston dual threat transfer QB D’Eriq King for this season.
Sanders was a two-time All-American at Florida State (1987, ’88), and won the Jim Thorpe Award during his final season playing for the Seminoles in 1988. He was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the NFL through the 2005 season.
His elite level of play earned him inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sanders has been analyst for the NFL Network for the past 10 years and clearly has the desire to try something else.