1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Florida State Seminoles

FSU QB update: James Blackman No. 1 for now, Jordan Travis still in limbo

Willie Taggart also expects Wisconsin transfer Alex Hornibrook to challenge Blackman.
Florida State head coach Willie Taggart speaks during the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college football media day in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Florida State head coach Willie Taggart speaks during the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college football media day in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Published Jul. 17, 2019

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."

Related: RELATED: Video: It’s not all doom and gloom for Florida State

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.”

Contact Joey Knight at Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.


  1. Yesterday• Florida State Seminoles
    We'll know a lot about the 2020 Florida State team after their first five games of the season. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    FSU could be in for a rocky start to the Mike Norvell era, and why Nov. 7 could be a big day in the state.
  2. Yesterday• Florida State Seminoles
    The Miami Hurricanes mascot Sebastian the Ibis cheers during last season's opener against Florida at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
    Manny Diaz’s Hurricanes will host Florida State and potential top-25 North Carolina.
  3. Yesterday• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. Norvell is Florida State’s new coach, taking over a Seminoles program that has struggled while he was helping to build Memphis into a Group of Five power. [PHIL SEARS  |  AP]
    The Mike Norvell era opens in Atlanta against West Virginia and includes trips to Louisville and Miami.
  4. Houston Cougars quarterback D'Eriq King (4) starts his touchdown running play during the fourth quarter of a 2017 game between USF and Houston at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The score put the Cougars into the lead and eventually won the game. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The U added a lot of transfers last year and still went 6-7. Manny Diaz can’t afford a repeat.
  5. Florida State guard M.J. Walker tries to block the shot of Miami guard Dejan Vasiljevic during the second half of their game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Coral Gables. [BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP]
    FSU forces 24 turnovers and storms back from a nine-point deficit for its ninth consecutive victory.
  6. Florida State forward Malik Osborne dances with his teammates during player introductions before their game against Virginia on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Tallahassee. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    Florida State, in a three-way tie atop the ACC standings, goes on the road Saturday in search of its ninth straight victory.
  7. Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman (55) during drills for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    “They don’t yet have the mentality of a Miami Hurricane,” the linebacker says during the days leading up to the East-West Shrine Game.
  8. Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops was considered the front-runner for the Florida State job after Willie Taggart was fired. Instead, Stoops stayed with the XFL. [TONY GUTIERREZ  |  AP]
    “The’s amazing," Seminoles AD David Coburn said of fan reactions. We read the emails. They are amazing.
  9. Florida State guard Anthony Polite and Virginia guard Braxton Key react to Polite's 3-point shot during the second half of their game Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Tallahassee. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    FSU forces 18 turnovers in a stellar defensive effort to take down the defending national champion.
  10. Memphis linebacker Bryce Huff gets fired up after a play during a game against SMU at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. [KYLE OKITA  |]
    Plus more East-West Shrine Game nuggets, including former Navy star quarterback Malcolm Perry practicing at receiver