The past two months have had some ups and downs when it comes to quarterbacks for the Florida State Seminoles. On Wednesday, the entire ‘Noles offense took a hit when quarterback James Blackman and wide receiver George Campbell entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.
Blackman, who was heading into his third season in Tallahassee, would be leaving as a redshirt sophomore and would be eligible to play immediately since he was only used in four games this past season. This technically doesn’t mean he is definitely is leaving the program, but it gives him the chance to explore his options.
This, of course, comes after starting quarterback Deondre Francois announced he would be returning to Florida State for his senior season. If Blackman decides he does want to transfer, that leaves the Seminoles with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster with Francois being the only on with any game experience.
In 2017, Blackman started 12 games during his freshman season after Francois went down with a knee injury. He threw for 2,230 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, while completing 58.2 percent of his passes. He played sparingly this past season, attempting passes in just three games and starting in one of those. In his lone start against NC State, he had the most productive passing attack of the season with 421 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Entering his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal just gives him the chance to talk with other coaches and basically be recruited. He might have a program recruit him to be their starter immediately, something he isn’t guaranteed as a Seminole with Francois still around for one more season. He would be able to come back though and have a great chance of being the starting quarterback following the 2019 season with two years of eligibility remaining.
If Blackman decides to leave, that puts Willie Taggart, Kendal Briles and the offense in a tough situation where they will almost have to just bring in anyone to fill out the depth chart. With how bad the offensive line has been over the past three seasons, there are no guarantees Francois could play through a full season without being injured in some way.
Their main target, Sam Howell, who was committed to Florida State, was lost on the early signing day to North Carolina. The Seminoles do, however, look to be in good shape for the recruitment of Lance LeGendre, the fifth-ranked dual threat quarterback out of New Orleans.
But Blackman may not be the only offensive player the ‘Noles may lose in the transfer portal.
Wide receiver George Campbell has also entered his name into the portal. He was a five-star recruit and the third-ranked receiver coming out of high school, but hasn’t produced much since joining Florida State with just 13 catches for 206 yards in three seasons. This past season, he played in seven games but only caught four passes for 42 yards.
The ‘Noles don’t really need to go after a receiver to replace Campbell since they signed Maurice Goolsby in the 2019 class and bunch of underclassmen on the roster. Their main focus needs to be on bringing in another quarterback whether Blackman stays or decides to transfer since Francois only has one more year of eligibility.
If Blackman stays and then becomes the starter for the 2020 season, he could definitely decide to leave for the NFL following the season. He could do that after the 2019 season as well if he were to get playing time and impress scouts.