Fisher Has No Time for Remorse; Biggest Replacement Almost Certainly at QB; but Signing Day Looms

By Smits, Garry | The Florida Times Union, January 3, 2015 | Go to article overview

Fisher Has No Time for Remorse; Biggest Replacement Almost Certainly at QB; but Signing Day Looms


Smits, Garry, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Garry Smits

LOS ANGELES | With the end of a 29-game winning streak after losing to Oregon 59-20 in the Rose Bowl on Thursday, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher doesn't have time for regret.

Signing day is just over a month away and Fisher, among the best recruiters in the nation, has a class ranked by most services as second only to Alabama, and that could change with a couple of the late pick-ups for which he has a knack.

Even with juniors expected to enter the NFL draft, FSU will have as many as 16 players on the two-deep defensive depth chart coming back. The losses will be more extensive on offense, but a talented group of freshman and sophomore skill position players such as running backs Dalvin Cook, Mario Pender and Freddie Stevenson; and wide receivers Travis Rudolph, Ermon Lane and Jesus Wilson will return.

"I'm excited about the future," Fisher said. "We've got a lot of great players coming back."

The biggest replacement will almost certainly be finding a new quarterback if Jameis Winston makes his expected decision to enter the draft. He's already projected to one of the first two quarterbacks selected, along with Oregon's Marcus Mariota.

Winston would only say that he was planning to play baseball for FSU for a third season.

"I'm not focused on that [the NFL] at all," he said after throwing for 348 yards against Oregon. "I'm looking forward to playing baseball."

Winston can play on the baseball team and still enter the NFL draft, as long as he his in good academic standing in the spring semester. He must declare his intentions for the NFL within the next two weeks.

Among Florida State's options if Winston leaves will be to promote sophomore Sean Maguire, who played against Clemson when Winston was under suspension, helping FSU win 23-17 in overtime. Maguire had two interceptions in that game, but also threw for 304 yards and a clutch 74-yard TD pass to Rashad Greene.

Maguire, from Sparta, N.J., will have competition from John Franklin III of Plantation and J.J. Cosentino of Pittsburgh. But Franklin is smaller (6 feet, 180 pounds) than quarterbacks Fisher has started in the past and Cosentino is considered more of a project. …

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