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2016 Spring Game: Quarterback Preview

Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Another year, another quarterback competition.

Like last spring, this Florida State squad enters the annual Garnet and Gold spring game with the biggest question mark at the quarterback position. Although we’ve previously highlighted some other concerns surrounding this team, the quarterback position is arguably the most important battle this offseason. With redshirt senior Sean Maguire sidelined for the spring due to an ankle injury suffered in the Peach Bowl, three underclassmen will have every opportunity to make their case for the job in Orlando. While the competition will likely last until fall camp, there is no better stage to make a good first impression than the Garnet and Gold spring game. Just ask Jameis Winston.

#12 Deondre Francois, redshirt freshman

So far, it looks as if spring ball is quickly becoming the Deondre Francois show. He took over first team reps at quarterback a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t looked back since. He has showcased his strong arm and quick release that made him a blue-chip recruit coming out of IMG Academy. One aspect of his game that he still needs to work on his overshooting targets at times. While he has all the arm talent in the world, sometimes it causes overthrows. If he can show in the spring game that he has the ability to put the correct amount of touch on the ball, the hype train for Francois will continue to gain momentum.

If he can make plays like the one below in the 2015 Under Armour All-American game, he will be ready to challenge Maguire for the starting job in fall camp.

francois

Deondre Francois has all the arm talent in the world, but needs to work on his consistency with his touch on the ball.

#16 J.J. Consentino, redshirt sophomore

J.J. Consentino is the only quarterback participating in spring that has seen actual game time in the garnet and gold, but has not made the most out of his limited game snaps. When Sean Maguire went out with an injury in the Peach Bowl, Consentino looked underprepared against the Houston defense. He went one of four in the air and took two sacks before Maguire came back in. While this was a small sample, it was concerning for a player completing his second year in the program. Consentino has impressive measurables at 6-4, 239 lbs. and has a cannon for an arm, but the concern with him has always been with the mental portion of the game. Does he know where to put the ball? Can he recognize when a blitz is coming? This may be the last real shot Consentino has at proving himself, so it’s now or never for the redshirt sophomore.

JJ

J.J. Consentino has a strong arm, but can he make all the throws necessary for a quarterback in Jimbo Fisher’s system?

#6 Malik Henry, freshman

No true freshman has ever started at quarterback in Jimbo Fisher’s tenure as head coach. However, Malik Henry has a real shot of breaking that streak. A blue-chip recruit, Henry was handpicked by Fisher to be his sole quarterback recruit in the 2016 class. Although he might be a little undersized at 6-2, 185 lbs., he is only in his first semester of college and will have time to add weight to his frame. What Henry lacks in size at the moment, he makes up for in arm talent and play on the field. Henry brings a Jameis Winston-like confidence to the quarterback position. He will make an amazing play at one moment, then make a bad decision the next. This is partly because Henry knows the playbook the least out of the three quarterbacks this spring. As such, this is the big question surrounding Henry in the spring game. Does he know the playbook? How much has he grasped through the first couple weeks of practice? If Henry can show that he has a good grasp of the playbook, then he is most certainly in the conversation for the starting quarterback job in fall camp.

henry

We know Malik Henry can throw the ball, but how well does he know the playbook?

gifs courtesy of ESPN and UnderTheRadar

Dakota Moyer
Florida State student and writer for NoleGameday.

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