TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s quarterback race took a dramatic turn Saturday when coach Jimbo Fisher announced that Sean Maguire would be sidelined for at least a month with a foot injury. Maguire, a fifth-year senior, needs a screw in the outside of his right foot. He’s scheduled to have surgery on Monday and will miss FSU’s season opener against Mississippi on Labor Day. Fisher estimated that Maguire could return for the second or third game of the season.
“I have the utmost respect for Sean Maguire,” Fisher said. “…It hurts me when you see guys that stand for the right things get bad breaks. Unfortunately, life isn’t fair sometimes and it’s not being fair to him. But, you know something, he’ll keep working.”
Maguire’s absence makes redshirt freshman Deondre Francois the heavy favorite to start the season as the Seminoles’ starting quarterback.
Fisher reminded that Maguire and Francois had already been considered co-No. 1s at the start of fall camp, and said that Francois will assume full-time reps with the first-team offense going forward.
“Right now, he definitely is the ‘1’ and he’ll get all the time,” Fisher said, while noting that the team is cycling through several different first-team combinations.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Francois has yet to take a collegiate snap. But he put on a promising show at the Garnet and Gold Game in April, completing 20 of 33 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
He is scheduled to meet with reporters for the first time at FSU’s annual media day on Sunday morning and, according to Fisher, is progressing as expected through the first week of fall camp.
“Some good, some bad, but I’m pleased,” Fisher said. “I’m not unhappy at all.”
Maguire missed all of spring practice while recovering from a left ankle injury suffered at the end of last season. Fisher said that Maguire first felt discomfort in his right foot at Wednesday’s practice, and that the pain intensified by Friday.
The injury is similar to the one sustained by sophomore safety Derwin James, who returned to practice Saturday after missing about a month.
Although Maguire won’t be on the field for a while, Fisher said he expects that Maguire will continue to maintain a regular presence at team meetings and during practice – same as he did while sidelined during the spring.
“(Teammates) love him,” Fisher said. “They respect him. And they have great respect for Deondre, too.”