A year ago, we discovered Jameis Winston. A few months ago, in January, the world discovered Jameis Winston. A year from now, we will be officially rebuilding and wondering what life will be like without number 5.
For now, it looks like there will be a three-headed quarterback race. So, what are the options? Sean Maguire, John Franklin III, and JJ Cosentino... And of course, some combination of the two, if you think Jimbo Fisher might acquiesce to the two-quarterback system.
Let's first address that last point. As long as Jimbo Fisher coaches at Florida State, there will never be a two-quarterback system in Tallahassee. Jimbo has already had his chance to implement one; first with some combination of Drew Weatherford, D. Richardson, and Christian Ponder and later, possibly, with Jacob Coker and Jameis Winston. He didn't take the chance to implement it on those occasions, so he won't be doing so now.
What does that mean? It's a rat race to the top.
But let's think for a second about whether this is a reality that we might need to consider sooner, as opposed to later. I'm going to run out and say this: Jameis Winston will be suspended, in one way or another, because, well, FSU is under a lot of pressure. Feel free to disagree, but when the New York Times publishes an article that attacks Winston and the school and the school responds only to protect itself and not its student-athlete, then you begin reading between the lines. Is it the school's obligation to run out and protect Winston? To some extent, yes, but obviously Winston has his own lawyers to fight for him.
Let's be clear. FSU adores Winston. Winston is a money maker. But the New York Times revealed too many damning pieces of evidence, including the possibility that Winston was involved in another unpleasant, to say the least, situation. To be fair, we know nothing. We have little to no facts of our own, and even if we did, we would just tie the facts together to tell the story that we want to hear. So, what happens when, or if, Winston is suspended? Then it becomes a race between Sean Maguire, John Franklin III, and JJ Cosentino, with Cosentino being the dark-horse candidate given his lack of time in Fisher's system.
So who of the two quarterbacks is more likely to win over the starting duties? I am going to make a case for each, but I'm going to suggest than John Franklin III will win the starting job (and let it be known that ChantRant, as an underdog, will always root for the underdog). Sean Maguire has the benefit of being in the system longer, which didn't necessarily help Jacob Coker any, but mastering a complex system takes nothing but patience and time. Maguire has the benefit of reptitions that John Franklin III just doesn't have.
Also, if repetitions during a spring game are any indication, Maguire is winning the battle at the moment. Winston made 50 passes in the spring game, which is almost unheard of. But take a look at the stats on a superficial level. Maguire was 15-of-28 for 203 yards, with one touchdown and one interception; Franklin was 5-of-10 for 103 yards, with a touchdown. Similar completion percentages, same number of touchdowns. Sure, they worked with different personell against different personell but it's nonetheless a compelling idea... John Franklin III seems talented enough to win the starting job at Florida State.
If you will recall, John Franklin III was simulating the Nick Marshall role in the practices leading up to the National Championship game. At Florida State, I would expect John Franklin III to run a similar, up-tempo offense predicated on the read option. Given our issues at receiver (did you watch the spring game?), Jimbo would be wiser to use a running quarterback because of the stacked stable of running backs at his disposal. In fact, I'd argue that the best, most athletic players on offense play running back: Karlos Williams and Mario Pender. Franklin III would lead an unstoppable running attack that features nicely timed passes that expose vulnerabilities in a defense committed to stopping the run.
So, while we don't know what will happen to Jameis Winston, we can only guess what will happen once he's gone; be it graduation or otherwise. And as long as the balance in this offense leans towards a stacked stable of NFL-caliber running backs, Jimbo will choose a system that highlights those strengths.
Good luck, John Franklin III. Oh, and if you need any confirmation as to how fast he is...
[Editor's Note: More than anything, I think this post shocked a lot of people. That was by design. I understand that this is a hot-button issue. My post was serious, however, because the New York Times article was serious. Sorry for fanning the flames.]
Comments? Questions? Kudos?