Florida State’s quarterback competition took a surprising turn on Saturday night as coach Jimbo Fisher announced that redshirt senior quarterback Sean Maguire will have surgery to insert a screw in his right foot.
Maguire suffered the injury in practice on Wednesday and will miss about four weeks, including FSU’s opener against Ole Miss on Sept. 5. Fisher said Maguire will have the surgery on Monday.
While Fisher did not name Deondre Francois the starting quarterback for the opener, he said the redshirt freshman will take most of the No. 1 reps in the preseason.
“Some good, some bad,” Fisher said when asked about Francois’ camp so far. “I’m pleased. I’m not unhappy at all.
“Nothing is going to change with him at all. Not one thing. Do what he does. Control what he can control.”
Francois ran the scout team in 2015 and now likely will make his college debut in his hometown, Orlando, when FSU plays Ole Miss. Francois completed 20 of 33 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in FSU’s spring game.
Maguire and Francois were considered the front-runners in the competition, separating themselves from redshirt sophomore J.J. Cosentino and true freshman Malik Henry.
Cosentino was running with the second-team offense in the open portion of Saturday’s practice. He has completed 5 of 10 passes for 27 yards in his FSU career.
Fisher had been alternating Maguire and Francois at first-team quarterback to spur competition between the two.
Maguire fractured his left foot in a Peach Bowl loss to Houston on Dec. 31. He had surgery in February and was not able to participate in spring drills.
“He wasn’t down; he was sad about it,” Fisher said of Maguire’s reaction to the surgery. “There is somebody with as much character as anybody on our football team. … Of course he’s down.
“But there was no hesitation on what to do and how to do it. I have the utmost respect for Sean Maguire … Life isn’t fair sometimes. It’s not being fair to him. He’ll keep working.”
This marks the second season of disappointment for Maguire, who has started six games in his FSU career. A year ago, he was expected to be the Seminoles’ starting QB following the exit of Jameis Winston, but he started the season No. 2 behind graduate transfer Everett Golson. Maguire eventually replaced Golson, starting five games while completing 59.3 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Francois, the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the 2015 recruiting class according to Rivals, has drawn comparisons to Winston due to his athleticism as a running and passing quarterback.