Everyone who follows college football knows Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and he returns to action on Week 1 against Oklahoma State.
But Winston is not the only signal-caller to have recently plied his trade for the Seminoles who will start at quarterback in 2014.
Three Florida State quarterbacks will open the season as starter. Jimbo Fisher isn’t introducing a never-before-seen, three-quarterback offense–two of those starters are former Seminoles.
One is Jacob Coker, the player Winston beat for the starting job just days prior to the 2013 season. Coker and Winston were engaged in a heated competition throughout last offseason that wasn’t settled until Aug. 23.
Jimbo said picking between QBs was “One of the toughest decisions I've had to go through.” Had tons of praise for Coker as well.
— Tim Linafelt (@Osceola_Tim) August 23, 2013
Winston made history and Coker opted to transfer this winter, landing at Alabama. Coker is primed to guide the Crimson Tide offense, making him Alabama’s first Week 1 starting quarterback not named A.J. McCarron since 2010.
That Coker competed neck-and-neck with the defending Heisman winner has given Tide fans reason to be excited. Nick Saban probably added to the excitement when, via Lindy’s Sports, he heaped praised on Coker’s abilities.
“We think a lot of Jake and we are excited to have him join our team. He is not only an outstanding football player, but he is also a fine young man who we feel will be a great fit with our program at Alabama.”
Jacob Coker leads the Crimson Tide in Week 1 against West Virginia, another team starting a former Florida State quarterback.
Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen made it official Tuesday, declaring one-time Seminoles starter Clint Trickett the Week 1 starter.
Trickett backed up E.J. Manuel in 2011 and 2012, but left the program last year when it became apparent Fisher was headed in another direction. Trickett’s first season at West Virginia was riddled with injury.
Holgorsen said via WVUSports.com Trickett’s injuries are behind him.
“Clint is 100 percent healthy and is ready to play. He worked hard last season and showed a lot of ability and leadership and deserves the chance to lead the team as a senior. He will be our starter.”
Trickett will have an opportunity to put up big numbers in Holgorsen’s pass-happy air-raid offense. The quarterback’s best showing of 2013 came in an upset of Oklahoma State.
Add the NFL to the equation, and yet another Seminole and former Jimbo Fisher pupil is expected to take the first-team snaps come Week 1. Aforementioned E.J. Manuel is entering his second season with the Buffalo Bills. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said in a Q&A at BuffaloBills.com that Manuel is putting together the schemes and speed of the professional ranks.
“It’s nice to see him make plays within the pocket, step up, find his check downs, throw the ball down the field a couple times. He’s really starting to get it all.”
The smattering of former and current Seminoles starting at the highest levels of football has to be a ringing endorsement for Fisher to quarterback recruits.