Is a Lack of Leadership Hurting FSU on the Field?

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After losing in the last minute against Miami, Florida State is now 1-3, unranked, and there’s really no telling how the rest of the season is going to go. Lately, I’ve been seeing some questionable things floating around on social media from the team. Whether it be on Twitter, Snapchat or whatever else, all of it is just not what anyone wants to see from such a prestigious team in college football. 

Usually, on August 1st before fall camp begins, the entire Florida State football team deletes all social media so they can put their focus completely on the season. Except this season seems to be going a bit differently. I have seen many different tweets with what seems like the wrong kind of message being sent to the fans. One example, in particular, that was bothering me was from quarterback Deondre Francois. After last weekends loss, he retweeted two different fans’ tweets along the lines about how FSU could have won if he was the starting quarterback and not James Blackman.

While this may not seem like a big deal to most, I believe it is sending a bad message, along with a lack of leadership that we should be seeing from Francois, regardless if he is out for the season or not. If you were James Blackman what would you think if someone you are supposed to look up to retweets something that basically says Blackman is the reason we could not win? I know I wouldn’t be too happy about it and neither should Blackman. The retweet, as harmless as it might be, is just a bit selfish and immature coming from a leader of this FSU team. 

Remember when Jameis Winston was suspended for one game against Clemson in 2014? While his reasoning for being suspended was not the best example of leadership, what he did after to fix the situation is what stood out to most people. I did not see him tweeting after the game that FSU would have played better or scored more points if he was the starting quarterback. I saw him standing on the sidelines, talking with and helping Sean Maguire prepare for the next play and the close game that was at hand. Coincidentally, that game was very similar to the Miami game last weekend. Both were close scoring games all up until the end. But, while at the game last weekend I did not see Francois with Blackman giving any advice on what might work to help the Noles pull out a win they desperately needed. We all know Francois has pulled out late-game wins in his career at Florida State, and it would have been great to see him pass down advice on the kind of skill and mentality you have to have in those situations to Blackman. James Blackman had a well-played game on Saturday so I am confused why Francois would retweet that in the first place. I mean at least Francois was sitting on the sidelines, but anything he could have said to the freshman quarterback in a huge rivalry game could have helped tremendously. 

Over the past week, there has been a number of questionable things posted and then deleted by different FSU players. If they are deleting it because they know it doesn’t reflect well on the team, then why post it in the first place? With the way this season is going, it would be nice to see someone, especially Deondre Francois, step up and take leadership of this team. The fact that he has been posting all of this material, despite being out for the season, is just not a good example to the rest of the team. We all know they need a leader to step up if they want to remain bowl eligible or at least have a winning record. I believe there need to be some adjustments among the attitude of some of the team if they want this to remain a possibility. It is definitely possible because of how talented this team is, we will just have to wait and see if that will actually happen or not. 

Listen to “State of the Union ft. Jacobbi McDaniel”.

Ryan and Ethan host this week and discuss the fall out from FSU’s disappointing defeat against Miami. Former FSU DT Jacobbi McDaniel joins and talks about the state of the program and how it seems to have changed since his time at FSU.

Haylee Blitch
Writer at NoleGameday covering Football and Baseball. Media and Communications Studies major at Florida State University.

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