VIDEO: James Blackman making plays against pressure

Florida State true freshman quarterback James Blackman has only been on campus since July but he is now the Seminoles starting quarterback. It was recently announced that Deondre Francois is out for the season after sustaining patella tendon damage to his left knee.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher stated after the game that Blackman would be the guy going forward if Francois was out. Fellow freshman Bailey Hockman will likely back him up while junior JJ Cosentino will be the reserve.

Blackman is rail thin at 6’5″ 185 lbs and looked like a wide out taking snaps at quarterback after coming in for Francois. He was expected to have a year or two to bulk up and get his body prepared for collegiate play, but it looks like he’ll have that luxury no longer. The freshman quarterback has a remarkably strong arm and seems to launch passes with ease. His mix of arm strength and accuracy is what has impressed Fisher throughout camp. There was also a report that Blackman torched the first team defense in one of the Fall Camp scrimmages.

With Francois going down, Blackman’s durability at his size and stature will be a question. But he does seem to have experience playing against vast amounts of pressure. Florida State’s offensive line was improved last night but did still allow Francois to take a couple huge shots. You have to think that the defenses of most the Seminoles opponents won’t be up to the caliber of the Crimson Tide’s.

This video shows Blackman’s ability to make plays despite being in the face of pressure. Here he delivers monster throws before being hit by defenders. He does a good job of standing in the pocket and making the play, not worrying about the oncoming rushers. Blackman’s accuracy and arm strength are mostly unphased despite his offensive line breaking down a fair amount of times. He can make plays in the pocket or rolling out of it. It is clear that Blackman is a pass first quarterback. He keeps his eyes downfield, not allowing himself to panic or scramble early.

The young signal caller will have the week of practice leading up to UL-Monroe to become comfortable within the offense. He could just be taking the reins on Saturday if Francois is unable to return.

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