Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher might know who his starting quarterback will be, but he isn’t ready to make an announcement.
The No. 10 Seminoles completed preseason drills Saturday with no indication of whether it will be Everett Golson or Sean Maguire under center next Saturday in the opener against Texas State.
Fisher’s responses to questions about the quarterback competition remain consistent — he will name one when he is ready. During practices the past two weeks, Golson and Maguire have been splitting the reps with the first team.
Golson, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, has more game experience. He started 23 games in two seasons with the Fighting Irish, and led them to the BCS title game in 2012. He was listed third on the preseason depth chart but quickly made up ground.
Maguire, a redshirt junior, has three years in Fisher’s system. Maguire has played in 13 games the past two games and started last season’s game against Clemson when he threw for 304 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 overtime victory.
“He is a very elusive guy. He knows how to make plays in a sense,” right guard Wilson Bell said about Golson. “Him and Sean have a really good battle going on. I really enjoy being back there because I trust both of those guys behind me. I know these guys are going to make plays.”
No matter who is named the starter, both Golson and Maguire are likely to see a lot of snaps early in the season. After Texas State, Florida State hosts South Florida on Sept. 12. When he was the offensive coordinator at Louisiana State, Fisher had some success using two quarterbacks but on Saturday it sounded as if he would like to settle on one.
“With one you get continuity and the rhythm of the game. A team gets used to one guy,” Fisher said. “With two, certain guys like one guy and certain guys like the other. It’s not just them as much as it is the team. It’s also about coaching staffs and game situations.”
Bell added that no matter who the quarterback is, there isn’t much of a difference from the offensive line’s standpoint.
“Nothing necessarily really changes because in the end you are still supposed to block to the whistle,” he said. “Even if a guy is scrambling, I am still supposed to be holding onto my man. Even if a guy is sitting in the pocket the whole time, I am still supposed to have my guy.”
The Seminoles remain among a handful of programs that haven’t named a starter, including No. 1 Ohio State and No. 3 Alabama. Two years ago, Fisher named Jameis Winston the starter 10 days before the opener. Winston went on to win the Heisman Trophy in 2013. He was the first overall pick by Tampa Bay in the NFL draft in April.
The last three Florida State starting quarterbacks – Winston, E.J. Manuel and Christian Ponder – have been first-round picks.
Notes: Fisher said practices the past two days have had a Tuesday week of game format to them, with a lot of work on short-yardage situations. … Fisher has also been pleased with how running back Dalvin Cook has looked since returning to practice on Tuesday and noted that he made four or five nice runs during Saturday’s practice. Cook was reinstated on Monday after being found not guilty of misdemeanor battery. The sophomore was accused of punching a woman in the face outside a downtown Tallahassee bar on June 23.