JOE REEDY, Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — After playing coy for the past couple weeks, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher ended the suspense on Monday of who will be his starting quarterback by announcing Everett Golson had earned the job.
Golson, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, beat out junior Sean Maguire.
“He came in, related to our players well and showed what kind of player he was,” Fisher said of Golson. “He has a good grasp of things. Making reads, plays and getting on the edge with his legs when he has to.”
Golson and Maguire “have both had their moments and shined,” Fisher said earlier Monday during his weekly press conference. “They have really improved in a lot of the things they don’t do as well. I really feel comfortable with either guy playing.”
Golson started 23 games for the Fighting Irish in 2012 and ’14. He has been on campus less than three months and was listed third on the preseason depth chart but his comfort level with the offense has garnered praise from Fisher the past couple weeks.
A big reason why Fisher went with Golson is likely experience.
Florida State has only four returning starters on offense and Fisher acknowledged that where his team is right now Golson is the better option.
Golson’s ability to make plays with his legs could be important early in the season, especially with four new starters on the offensive line. Besides throwing for 5,850 yards and 41 touchdowns at Notre Dame, he ran for 14 touchdowns and averaged 23.2 rushing yards per game.
In assessing his offense going into the opener, Fisher considers it to be a big, strong athletic group with versatility among the skill positions.
The first test for the 10th-ranked Seminoles will be in what should be tuneup Saturday against Texas State in their season opener.
Maguire has played in 13 games the past two seasons, including a start against Clemson last year where he led the Seminoles to a 23-17 overtime win.
He appeared to be the heir apparent to Jameis Winston going into spring drills, but Maguire struggled in the spring game, which opened the door to a Golson transfer. Even with the struggles, Fisher has been pleased with Maguire’s preseason camp.
“I think he’s really ramped it up this year because he felt like he was the guy,” Fisher said of Maguire. “I’ve been very pleased with his attitude and everything.”
Both Golson and Maguire are expected to see plenty of playing time early. Florida State has a 12-game winning streak in September games with an average margin of victory of 31.8 points.
Notes: Running back Dalvin Cook, who returned to the team last week after being found not guilty of misdemeanor battery, will not have any playtime restrictions in the opener. Fisher said that Cook’s conditioning has been tremendous despite the time away. … Besides quarterback, Fisher also named a starting center with redshirt freshman Corey Martinez getting the nod. … True freshman Josh Sweat has worked his way into the rotation at defensive end despite suffering an ACL injury in high school last season.
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