Redshirt Sophomore James Blackman Named FSU Starting QB over Alex Hornibrook

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

Florida State quarterback James Blackman throws before an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.,Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Florida State has named redshirt sophomore James Blackman as the team's starting quarterback for the first game against Boise State on Saturday. 

Wisconsin transfer Alex Hornibrook and Louisville transfer Jordan Travis were both involved in the quarterback competition, but head coach Willie Taggart went with the player who has been with the program and started 13 games over the past two seasons.

Despite his familiarity with the program, Blackman and Hornibrook saw "close to a 50-50 split in reps with the first-team offense through the final days of camp," according to Brendan Sonnone of 247Sports.

Hornibrook also has plenty of experience at this level with 5,438 passing yards and 47 touchdowns in 35 games for the Badgers. 

Blackman, who has 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his career, was forced to earn the starting spot over tough competition but was up to the challenge during fall practices. 

"When you put everything together, he's a dang good quarterback.offensive coordinator Kendal Briles said of Blackman.

"He's an alpha dog," receiver Keyshawn Helton added. "He's a leader."

Florida State is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 5-7 season in Taggart's first year with the team. It was the school's first campaign with a sub-.500 record since 1976. The February dismissal of former starting quarterback Deondre Francois created even more uncertainty within the program. 

The squad will hope players like Blackman, running back Cam Akers and wide receiver Tamorrion Terry will help rejuvenate the offense and lead to more success in 2019.