July 7, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Florida State: Off Field Issues Again
Maybe it’s the beaches or the sun. The spotlight on Tallahassee is always shinning. With the mass exodus of talent from Florida State headlined by the departure of its former Heisman Trophy-winning, headline-grabbing quarterback. The last thing Florida State needed was another quarterback with off the field issues.
Less than a week after getting suspended indefinitely for violating team rules, Florida State freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson has been charged with misdemeanor battery for striking a female in the face. Johnson was expected to compete with Sean Maguire and Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson for the starting quarterback job vacated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers No. 1 overall draft pick Jameis Winston.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, Johnson is in a difficult spot in terms of regaining the trust of his teammates and coaches. After Winston’s numerous off-field issues during his time at FSU, one can only assume that head coach Fisher and Co. will take personal misconduct matters very seriously moving forward. Maguire and Golson figure to be the primary options at quarterback in 2015, but Johnson’s absence will certainly hurt the team’s depth, provided his suspension is a long-term situation.
Now that one less quarterback is on the roster what does that mean for the rest? Could it be a former Notre Dame golden boy? Golson announced he’d be leaving Notre Dame following a junior season in which he accounted for 3,728 total yards and 37 touchdowns, but also 22 turnovers that came at the worst times .After a fast start last year, Golson-led Notre Dame team lost five of six games to close out the regular season, and Golson was replaced as the starting quarterback by sophomore Malik Zaire. Olson threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in a narrow loss to the Seminoles last season.
In 2012, Golson led the Irish to a 12-1 record and a trip to the BCS national championship game, where Notre Dame lost to Alabama. He was suspended for the entire 2013 season because of an academic issue. In his career at Notre Dame, Golson threw for 5,850 yards, 41 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. At Florida State, Golson joins a team that is retooling after going 27-1 with a BCS national championship and a playoff appearance the last two seasons. Winston led the way, winning the Heisman in 2013 and finishing with 7,964 yards and 65 touchdowns. Winston and 10 of his teammates were selected in last month’s NFL draft, but the Seminoles are not without talent. Golson joins Dalvin Cook, who ran for 1,008 yards as a freshman in 2014, and three talented receivers (Jesus Wilson, Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane), who combined for 93 catches and nine touchdowns last season.
Maguire won his only start last season, passing for 304 yards and a touchdown as Florida State rallied to beat Clemson 23-17 in overtime without the suspended Winston. Maguire is the only quarterback on Florida State’s roster who has played a college game. The 6-1 Golson will have to transition from Notre Dame’s spread offense to a more pro-style system at Florida State. Florida State just can’t afford to take any more negative press. Hopefully next year’s starter can help change the image some may have of the former National Champions.
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