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FSU football: Brock Glenn to start in place of injured Tate Rodemaker

The Seminoles are down to their third-string quarterback in Saturday’s ACC championship game.
 
FSU football might be down to its third quarterback, Brock Glenn, when the Florida State Seminoles play Louisville in Saturday's ACC championship.
FSU football might be down to its third quarterback, Brock Glenn, when the Florida State Seminoles play Louisville in Saturday's ACC championship. [ PHELAN M. EBENHACK | AP ]
Published Dec. 1, 2023|Updated Dec. 3, 2023

UPDATE (Saturday, 8:13 p.m.): Florida State freshman Brock Glenn will start at quarterback in the ACC championship game against Louisville. The former three-star recruit will replace Tate Rodemaker, who was limited in practice after taking a hit to the head in last week’s win at Florida.

Both quarterbacks went through initial warmups, but Glenn took the first-team reps. When the teams ran out of the tunnel for the final time before the game, Glenn pointed to the sky. Rodemaker is in sweats. FSU star Jordan Travis is on the sideline with crutches; he sustained a devastating leg injury in last month’s win over North Alabama.

UPDATE (Saturday, 7:43 p.m.): Florida State freshman quarterback Brock Glenn appears in line to earn his first collegiate start in Saturday’s ACC championship game against Louisville. Glenn, a former three-star recruit, took the first-team reps during warmups. If that stands, he’ll replace Tate Rodemaker, who was limited in practice this week after taking a hit to the head in the win at Florida. FSU has not made an official announcement on Rodemaker’s availability.

UPDATE (Saturday, 7:14 p.m.): Florida State quarterback Tate Rodemaker is in his full uniform as the Seminoles begin full warmups for their ACC championship game against Louisville. Freshman Brock Glenn led the four quarterbacks around the field to the end zone where they’re all stretching. We have not yet received an official update on Rodemaker’s availability.

UPDATE (Saturday, 6:20 p.m.): Florida State quarterback Tate Rodemaker is throwing and participating in initial warmups for the No. 4 Seminoles’ ACC championship game against No. 15 Louisville.

Rodemaker was limited in practice this week after sustaining a concussion in the second half of last week’s win at Florida. It remains unclear whether he will start tonight or if FSU will turn to true freshman Brock Glenn.

DEVELOPING: Florida State’s ACC championship and College Football Playoff hopes could come down to the Seminoles’ third-string quarterback.

Tate Rodemaker’s status is uncertain for Saturday’s conference title game against No. 15 Louisville at Bank of America Stadium. If Rodemaker — who replaced injured star Jordan Travis in wins over North Alabama and Florida — can’t play, true freshman Brock Glenn is in line for his first career start for No. 4 FSU.

Rodemaker was briefly sidelined against the Gators after taking a hit to the head during a play that resulted in a targeting penalty. FSU coach Mike Norvell said Friday that Rodemaker passed “all of our sideline evaluations,” which allowed him to reenter. On his first play back, Rodemaker checked to the play on Trey Benson’s game-sealing touchdown run.

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Norvell said Rodemaker “had a few symptoms of things” Sunday. Norvell did not use the word concussion. Regardless, Rodemaker was limited in practice and did more individual work than team drills. Glenn “got the bulk” of the work, Norvell said, and blue-chip redshirt freshman AJ Duffy also earned reps.

Norvell said Rodemaker’s status will be decided Saturday as they “continue on with our process of evaluation and see where it goes from there.”

Tate Rodemaker made his second career start at Florida. His status is uncertain for Saturday.
Tate Rodemaker made his second career start at Florida. His status is uncertain for Saturday. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP ]

Though Rodemaker has limited game experience — the Gators game was only the second start of his career — the Valdosta, Georgia, native is in his fourth season with Norvell. That gives him three more years of reps and film study than Glenn, a 6-foot-2, 213-pound Tennessean.

Glenn was a three-star talent in the 247Sports composite rankings and a recruiting coup for Norvell, who flipped him from Ohio State a month before the early signing day.

“I think he’s the total package, unbelievable talent…” Norvell said on signing day. “He fits us, and I mean, he’s just a great player.”

But Glenn, too, has been hurt. He injured his left (non-throwing) hand during his debut late in FSU’s Week 2 rout of Southern Miss. He was able to warm up six weeks later against Duke but wasn’t available.

“Once he was able to clear and get back out and practice, just the mindset, the approach, the communication, becoming more consistent in all the things that we asked that position to do, not knowing if he’s going to get an opportunity,” Norvell said.

Tate Rodemaker has spent four years with coach Mike Norvell. His backup, Brock Glenn, has been at FSU for 11 months.
Tate Rodemaker has spent four years with coach Mike Norvell. His backup, Brock Glenn, has been at FSU for 11 months. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP ]

Glenn’s only other appearances came in mop-up duty against North Alabama and when Rodemaker was out at Florida. He has completed two of his four passes for 35 yards and rushed six times for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Norvell said the game plan doesn’t have to change much regardless of who suits up. But there are other factors at play.

Though Norvell called Glenn “mature beyond his age,” he has been on campus for 11 months and was out or limited for half the season. Will he be able to make the right reads and avoid bad decisions as Rodemaker did last week in his turnover-free performance?

ESPN/ACC Network analyst Tim Hasselbeck saw Glenn play in high school and was impressed by his arm then. But the difference between being the No. 2 quarterback (as Rodemaker had been) and No. 3 (like Glenn) is massive in development.

“A lot of times the second quarterback is just kind of getting some crumbs, if you will, in terms of reps,” said Hasselbeck, who spent parts of six seasons as an NFL quarterback. “The third guy will get nothing — or maybe even he’s just doing scout team stuff.”

Those limited reps will help determine which parts of the playbook Norvell will lean on if Glenn starts or sees significant action.

Louisville coach Jeff Brohm said he’s preparing as if Rodemaker will play and will adjust if Glenn starts. Betting markets reflect the uncertainty; FSU dropped from a 5 1/2-point favorite Sunday to 1 1/2-point favorite Friday on BetMGM.

There is one optimistic precedent for FSU: Ohio State was on the playoff bubble in 2014 and down to its third-string quarterback in the Big Ten championship. Cardale Jones made his first career start and blew out Wisconsin 59-0. The Buckeyes made the final four and won the national title.

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