TALLAHASSEE — Coach Jimbo Fisher put an end to speculation about Florida State's quarterback situation, officially naming redshirt freshman Jameis Winston the starter for the Sept. 2 opener at Pittsburgh.
Winston beat out sophomore Jacob Coker and takes over the spot vacated by EJ Manuel, who was selected by the Bills in the first round of the NFL draft. Manuel was the last FSU quarterback to start as a redshirt freshman, appearing in three games in 2010. Winston will be the first redshirt freshman to start a season since Land O'Lakes High standout Drew Weatherford began the 2005 season.
"This was one of the toughest decisions I've had to go through," Fisher said Friday. "We truly have two very good quarterbacks. They're guys I feel very comfortable starting and making plays."
Winston made a splash with fans in the spring game, completing 12 of 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Coker, who threw just five passes in 2012, completed 15 of 26 for a touchdown and two interceptions in the spring game.
Fisher said he and his staff used Wednesday's scrimmage as the final determining factor.
"Both of them really started getting command of the things as the camp went on, but I thought Jameis did a little better job in the beginning," Fisher said. "You're really splitting hairs when you get down to it."
Winston and Coker did not address the media.
Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner was impressed with both: "Everyone already had (Winston) as the appointed starter, and then you have a guy like Jacob Coker who's just as talented and tough, and having a great camp. As an organization, it was tough. We were always in (the dark)."