FSU QB James Blackman is staying sharp at home, offers thoughts in interview

When the coronavirus began to flare up in the United States and restrictions were put in place, Florida State football players had to make a choice, remain on campus or go home. Starting quarterback James Blackman decided to go home for an extended break as students can’t return to Tallahassee until further notice. Like other Seminoles, he’s had to stay creative when working out but has had the luxury of getting to throw on his old high school practice field.

In his recent free time, Blackman got a chance to do an interview with Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. He talked about his workouts, Mike Norvell, his diet, and much more in some of the quotes we’ll be linking below. You can check out the full article by clicking here.

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Though Florida State was able to practice just three times this spring before football was sidelined, Blackman saw a difference in new head coach Mike Norvell’s style compared to Willie Taggart.

“A lot more structured,” Blackman said according to Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “A lot more organized. A lot more intense. The coaching was a lot better – the way they coached, the enthusiasm, the passion. Those things stood out to me.”

“We got quite a bit in, especially quarterbacks,” Blackman said according to Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “We put in quite a bit of time going over the first couple of installs.”

The Belle Glade native has been working out and throwing under the guidance of his godfather Rick Butts, who has coached at Glades Central High School for the last decade. Butts, who focused on quarterbacks, even coached Blackman during his high school career.

While he should still be in the midst of spring ball, this virus has thrown a wrench into the middle of things. That hasn’t bothered Blackman at all, who says he had to get creative working out in the muck anyway. He’s embracing the situation.

“This is how I’ve been working all my life,” Blackman said according to Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “Since I was 8 years old, I have been finding ways to work out, using shoes as cones, using cement (to lift like weights), finding a two-by-four to hang in the backyard to do pull-ups and hang a tire to work on my accuracy. I’ve been finding a way to adjust all my life.”

Despite being away from campus, the 6-foot-5, 190-pound signal-caller is still getting a chance to go over the playbook and learn. He has online meetings every day at 5 p.m. with offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham and the rest of the quarterbacks. They use the time to go over new installs, protections, plays, and schemes. Overall, he spends about three hours on academics and three hours on film study each day combined with conditioning and throwing. He’s also drinking at least three protein shakes every day.

The redshirt junior has been the leader of this team since being thrust into action as a true freshman in 2017. He’s had success, he’s tasted failure, and he still comes to work every day with the goal to improve. Blackman was one of the top performers during the Tour of Duty and that continued onto the football field, where he displayed better consistency than redshirt sophomore Jordan Travis and true freshman Tate Rodemaker.

Regardless, the quarterback battle is wide open and highly-regarded signee Chubba Purdy is scheduled to arrive on campus this summer. By all accounts, Norvell is going to give each guy a shot to win the starting job. So what’s that mean for Blackman? More of the same.

“My approach is the same,” Blackman said according to Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “I come to work every day and work hard. Don’t take anything for granted. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I’m still ready to go hard and outwork anyone and keep putting in the work, day by day, hour by hour, second by second, and keep grinding.”

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