CHARLOTTE, N.C. ― During his appearance Wednesday at the ACC Kickoff, Willie Taggart tried offering some clarity on his quarterback depth chart.
Problem is, the status of one of the potential competitors ― Louisville transfer Jordan Travis ― remains unclear.
Taggart said the school still hasn't heard from the NCAA regarding Travis' request for a waiver that would allow him to play in 2019. A former three-star recruit from south Florida, Travis appeared in three games at Louisville last season before informing Cardinals coaches he was moving on.
"The process is still going," Taggart said. "Again, you don't know how it's going to work out. It's one of those deals. I mean, you see it around the country now; some get waivers, some don't."
Regardless of Travis’ short-term status, redshirt sophomore (and primary 2017 starter) James Blackman enters fall camp as the No. 1 guy, though Taggart said he’d have to compete to hold off 6-foot-4, 220-pound Wisconsin graduate transfer Alex Hornibrook.
Because he played in only four games last season while Deondre Francois started, Blackman was able to redshirt in 2018 after passing for more than 2,200 yards the season before.
“I think James has grown up,” Taggart said. “He’s always been a great leader, but I think he’s taken another step when it comes to leadership. He’s working his tail off, I’ve seen him around the office more than ever, learning and going over football.”
Yet Taggart added he expects Hornibrook ― who didn’t participate in spring practice ― to challenge Blackman for the No. 1 job.
Hornibrook went 26-6 over three seasons as the Badgers' starter, throwing for more than 5,000 yards and 47 touchdowns in a conventional, pro-style offense. But 'Noles receiver Tamorrion Terry said Hornibrook possesses surprising mobility that can work in new coordinator Kendal Briles' scheme.
“I’ve never seen a kid that can move like that,” Terry said. “He can move while coming on pressure, he knows how to move and throw the ball at the same time, and he does that very good.”
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