Despite setback with injury, QB Sean Maguire says he will ‘be there’ for FSU teammates

6_4018785

By  Ryan  Clark/Warchant.com

TALLAHASSEE — Sean Maguire had his moments of perspective on Sunday, calling his injury “devastating,” but he quickly shifted to how he feels he can still make an impact for the Florida State football team while on the mend. 

The redshirt senior quarterback, who was making his first public comments since learning he will miss four weeks with a broken bone in his right foot, is scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday. 

“The past few days have been devastating for me and my family,” Maguire said Sunday when FSU held its annual Media Day. “I am getting the surgery [Monday], and after tomorrow, it’s all about getting back to 100 percent. That’s really the only thing on my mind.” 

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters Saturday that Maguire sustained the injury on Wednesday, the second day of preseason camp. Maguire said he felt something in his foot but thought it was just his body getting adjusted to practice or it was discomfort caused by new shoes. 

A day later, he said, the pain became unbearable and he knew something was wrong. 

Maguire’s injury comes as he was battling with redshirt freshman Deondre Francois to become the team’s starting quarterback. Fisher still hasn’t confirmed that Francois will be the Seminoles’ starter in their Sept. 5 season opener against Ole Miss, but the redshirt freshman took all the first-team reps at practice Sunday. 

Maguire attended practice with his foot in a protective boot and was seen offering advice to the other quarterbacks. 

“I’m going to be there for them,” Maguire said. “Not just them but for everyone on the team. Still being at practice, still being in the meetings and everything.” 

The Second Verse 

As has become an annual tradition on Media Day, Florida State held its one open practice for fans inside Doak Campbell Stadium on Sunday. 

Only about 1,000 fans were in attendance as thunderstorms skirted past the stadium, but those who did show up saw a show from sophomore wide receiver Nyqwan Murray. The 5-11, 176-pound Orlando product caught numerous touchdown passes and made several tough grabs in traffic. 

“Murray’s legit,” Fisher said. “Has a chance to be a good player if he continues to play with consistency.” 

Injury Report

Junior WR Travis Rudolph was held out of practice with a sore hamstring, and freshman defensive end Brian Burns was also out with a thigh bruise. Senior safety Nate Andrews went down with a pulled calf muscle during the practice. Fisher said all three should be back soon. 

They said it 

“He’s been able to handle himself on the field and off the field, so much better. He’s worked hard. He’s put on weight. He’s got stronger, faster and just basically became the leader of the group in my opinion.” – WRs coach Lawrence Dawsey on junior receiver Travis Rudolph 

“It’s always hard to see your fellow brother go through an injury like this. But this is the game. That’s the way it is. And Sean’s a great guy. So it’s tough for me seeing a fellow quarterback go through a foot injury. You never want that to happen to anyone on the team.” – Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois on fellow QB Sean Maguire’s broken foot. 

“For a minute, it took them a little while to get in the attitude of practice with it being in here (Doak Campbell Stadium). But once they got into it, it was OK. Good points and bad points on both sides of the ball. One side wins, one side loses. That’s what happens when you get to know each other and compete. Good things on both sides and mistakes on both sides.” – FSU coach Jimbo Fisher on Sunday’s open practice.

For more FSU football coverage, visit Warchant.com.

 

Florida State’s Mario Pender dismissed from team after arrest for domestic violence by strangulation

 

Running back Mario Pender was dismissed from the Florida State football team Saturday after his arrest. (Getty Images)
Running back Mario Pender was dismissed from the Florida State football team Saturday after his arrest. (Getty Images)

Florida State running back Mario Pender has been dismissed from the team after he was arrested Saturday and booked on charges of committing domestic violence by strangulation and resisting an officer without violence.

The school released a statement Saturday night saying that Pender “has been permanently dismissed from the football team following his arrest earlier in the day.”

The statement said the athletics department would have no further comment.

The story was first reported by FSUNews.com

Pender, 23, is a fifth-year junior from Cape Coral. He played in three games last season before suffering a collapsed lung in practice which resulted in surgery and a hospital stay of more than two weeks. Pender, who lost about 18 pounds after the injury, was not cleared to return to practice until the end of the season but he did not practice this spring.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said in April that Pender got behind in his school work after missing so much time because of the injury.

Pender played in just 12 games in his career, rushing for 349 yards and five touchdowns. He redshirted in 2012 after suffering a groin injury and was ruled academically ineligible in 2013. He played in nine games in 2014 battling various injuries.

The Seminoles added to their backfield depth behind starter Dalvin Cook and sophomore Jacques Patrick by moving Ryan Green back to running back a year after he has switched to corner back. Green had an impressive spring game, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

Cook did not play in the spring game after having shoulder surgery. He is expected to be recovered for the start of spring practice.

Experience will help but QB who gives Florida State best chance to win will start

 

Sean Maguire has the most experience of the FSU quarterbacks, but that does not mean he's a lock for the starting job. (AP Photo)
Sean Maguire has the most experience of the FSU quarterbacks, but that does not mean he’s a lock for the starting job. (AP Photo)

Jimbo Fisher acknowledged today that experience at quarterback could be a big advantage when a team opens the season with a high-caliber/ranked opponent like Ole Miss, but that does not mean Sean Maguire will be automatically given the job.

“All those things have to come into play but you have to look at who gives you the best chance to be successful in the game,” Fisher said on the ACC coaches post-spring conference call. “That’s what it gets down to. All decisions are based on the success of the team.”

Maguire, a rising senior, has the most experience, by far, over the three candidates. In fact, he is the only who has taken a snap with redshirt freshman Deondre Francois and incoming freshman Malik Henry also in the competition.

Still, Fisher said Maguire offers more than just experience.

“Experience is a big part of it but people say experience and act like Sean is not very talented. Sean has a great arm, can move and do great things.

“That (experience) will be factored in but also you have a lot of scrimmages and things to put in place and whichever gives us the best chance to win will be the guy who plays.”

Maguire missed missed the entire spring after having surgery on his ankle in January. He started five games last season and threw for 1,520 yards, 11 Tds and six interceptions. Francois and Henry split nearly all of the snaps in spring game.

As far as opening on Labor Day night in a nationally televised game in Orlando, Fisher said, “that gives you some inspiration and encouragement you’ve got to be ready right out of the gate.”

[Jimbo Fisher would like to see upgrades to academic support facilities]

[Lorenzo Featherston to be medically disqualified because of knee injury]

[Travis Rudolph ready to emerge as true top receiving threat]

 

Florida State DE Lorenzo Featherston to be medically disqualified

 

Lorenzo Featherston played in just five games last season because of knee issues.
Lorenzo Featherston played in just five games last season because of knee issues.

Jimbo Fisher confirmed that Florida State defensive end Lorenzo Featherston’s career is over.

Fisher, talking to a group of reporters at his booster tour stop in Jacksonville, said the paperwork is underway for Featherston to be medically disqualified. Featherston, a sophomore, is allowed to keep his scholarship but it will not count against the 85 the team is allowed.

The Seminoles now are three players over the scholarship limit.

“That’s not something I want to do,” Fisher said. “That’s what he wants to do.  It’s unfortunate because that guy was a player.”

Featherston has battled a knee injury since a standout freshman year in which he had 19 tackles, including five for losses. He was expected to contend for a starting job last season but played in just five games. Fisher said in March that Featherson’s career was being threatened because of the knee.

The Seminoles enter this season with one of the top defensive end tandems in the country in DeMarcus Walker and Josh Sweat. Moving Rick Leonard to offensive line thinned out the depth but players like Jacob Pugh, Janarius Robinson, Adam Torres and Keith Bryant of Delray Beach will vie for playing time.

[Travis Rudolph ready to emerge as true top receiving threat]

[Ricky Aguayo off to good start following in brother’s footsteps]

[FSU staff ranked No. 9 nationally in recruiting]

Florida State: Five things we learned from the spring game

 

Deondre Francois threw for 246 yards and 2 TDs in the spring game.
Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois threw for 246 yards, 2 TDs in the Florida State spring game.

ORLANDO – As far as spring game goes, Florida State’s was as about as good at it gets.

The Garnet and Gold teams each scored on their final two drives and the game ended 24-24. Jimbo Fisher was very pleased with the spring finale, a stark contrast from the way spring started when Fisher ripped into his team what he called the worst practice any of his teams had since he became a head coach.

The Seminoles had plenty of breakout performances but here is what we learned.

QB Sean Maguire will be pushed to keep his starting job

Henry
Malik Henry

Maguire, the senior who is recovering from surgery on his ankle, watched FSU’s freshmen quarterbacks close the gap on the competition. Redshirt Deondre Francois and early enrollee Malik Henry dueled to the end, each leading their teams on two scoring drives in the final five minutes. Francois was 20 of 33 for 246 yards and two interceptions. Henry was 15 of 22 for 205 yards and a slow start in which his Garnet team did not have a first down in the first half. Both tossed two TD passes. “Sean will be right there and he’ll go back up to No. 1 and they’ll all compete for it,” Fisher said. “They’re all going to compete for it in fall camp. I’m anxious to what we can put in that mix the better.”

WR Auden Tate is for real

One of the biggest disappointments last season was that none of the receivers behind Travis Rudolph, Kermit Whitfield and Jesus Wilson emerged. Well, now there is a fourth member of the top tier, 6-5 Tate, who had six catches for 100 yards and two TDs. The most impressive was a play in which he ran the wrong route, but kept moving, headed down the sideline and leaped to catch the throw from Francois, giving the Gold a 21-17 lead. The catch was pure Kelvin Benjamin, who by the way is the player to whom Tate is drawing the most comparisons. “Auden made a phenomenal catch,” Fisher said. “The play itself was phenomenal. That was a great play. But you saw his body size, you see what he has a chance to be and he’s got to get better. He’ll keep polishing those routes but that big body and those hands, he can be a weapon for us.”

Derwin James is an All-American in the making

James, the strong safety, made a name for himself last season making several freshman All-American teams and even being touted by some as the best freshman in the country. Now he has taken the next step this spring not only on the field but as a leader. James was all over the field on Saturday. But as much as his physical ability, Fisher continues to praise James for the way he has taken hold of the leadership role. “He just gets it,” Fisher said. “The physical skills are crazy, he’s unbelievably instinctive but he’s an intelligent guy, a very intelligent person, not just football player. And then he’s a great people person. Derwin’s a fun guy to be a round. Guys just flock to him. He has that charisma.”

Ryan Green is back where he belongs

Ryan Green
Ryan Green

The rising junior made the switch back to running back after spending a season at cornerback and looks as though he never left. Green gained a game-high 84 yards on 16 carries. And although the 5-11, 205-pound green appears as if he’s too small to plow through the middle and will only beat you on the edge, he showed he’s also capable to picking up the tough yards. Green and Jacques Patrick will enter camp battling for the most playing time behind Dalvin Cook. “It’s just natural,” Green said. “I know how to make people miss, I can catch out of the backfield. I run hard. I just feel like it’s the way to go.”

Ricky Aguayo ready to step into some very big shoes

Ironically, those shoes belong to his brother, Roberto, who concluded his historic career last season by joining Deion Sanders as the only two FSU players to be named to at least one All-America team three straight years. Ricky, a true freshman who enrolled early, got off to a good start as his brother’s successor by nailing both of his field goal attempts, from 45 and 46 yards, the latter coming with four seconds remaining and his team trailing by three points. Aguayo hit a low line drive that cleared the crossbar by feet. “What Ricky did at the end of the game was special,” Fisher said. “To come in in that     situation, tie the game, you never know. We could have that during the season.”

[Read the game story from the spring game here]

 

 

Weekly 3: Recapping Florida State news from week on Cook, Maguire, QB commit

 

 

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook had shoulder surgery on Tuesday. He's expected to be healthy for preseason camp.
Florida State running back Dalvin Cook had shoulder surgery on Tuesday. He’s expected to be healthy for preseason camp.

Three of the biggest stories from Florida State this week.

DALVIN COOK UNDERGOES SHOULDER SURGERY; SHOULD BE READY FOR CAMP

Jimbo Fisher announced Wednesday that running back Dalvin Cook had shoulder surgery the previous day but said the Seminoles’ Heisman Trophy candidate is expected to be fully healthy for the start of preseason camp.

“We cleaned up a little stuff in the back of his shoulder,” Fisher said. “He’ll be ready in a couple months. He’ll be ready to go in July.”

Fisher said it’s the same shoulder Cook injured after enrolling early in 2014. Cook missed spring practice that season after suffering a torn labrum in the weight room.

The surgery meant Jacques Patrick and Ryan Green would take most of the snaps at tailback for the Seminoles’ spring game Saturday at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Cook set a school record with 1,691 yards last season despite battling nagging injuries for most of the year, the most serious to his hamstring and ankle. Cook missed almost two full games because of the injuries. He was fully healthy for just two games the entire season.

Read full story here.

SEAN MAGUIRE PARTICIPATING IN ABOUT 70 PERCENT OF CONDITIONING DRILLS

Quarterback Sean Maguire has watched his understudies perform during spring practice as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken bone in his left ankle. Though Maguire has not been competing with Deondre Francois, J.J. Cosentino and Malik Henry he has been involved in everything else the quarterbacks have been doing.

“Extremely involved,” Fisher said. “All of our meetings, all of our talkings, everything. He’s been extremely involved.”

Fisher said Maguire is “60, 70 percent with the conditioning” drills and putting weight on his ankle. He said “hopefully” he’s be full speed by June.

Read full story here.

FSU LANDS COMMITMENT FROM FOUR-STAR QUARTERBACK

Florida State received its eighth commitment for the 2017 class, and first QB, when Bailey Hockman from Power Springs, Ga., made his announcement Sunday on Twitter.

The 6-2, 192-pound Hockman is a four-star prospect who once was committed to Georgia before backing off in December. Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina were among the several school he was considering. He also recently took an unofficial visit to Auburn.

Hockman is the No. 7 pro-style QB in the country, according to 247Sports composite rankings. He was at Florida State on an unofficial visit on March 26, his third visit to the campus and second in a month.

Read full story here.

 

Florida State QB Sean Maguire ’60, 70 percent’ involved in conditioning, could be full strength by June

 

Jimbo Fisher said QB Sean Maguire is '60, 70 percent' involved in conditioning drills and putting weight on his surgically repaired ankle.
Jimbo Fisher said QB Sean Maguire, seen here avoiding a defender in Peach Bowl after returning to play with a fractured left ankle, is ’60, 70 percent’ involved in conditioning drills and putting weight on his surgically repaired ankle.

ORLANDO – With the focus surely to be on the quarterbacks during Saturday’s spring game at the Citrus Bowl, one quarterback who has stepped out of the spotlight this spring is the one who may determine how far Florida State goes in 2016.

Incumbent Sean Maguire has watched his understudies perform for the last three weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken bone in his left ankle. Though Maguire, who will be a senior in the fall, has not been out there competing with rising redshirt freshman Deondre Francois, redshirt sophomore JJ Cosentino and early enrollee Malik Henry, he has been involved in everything else the quarterbacks have been doing.

“Extremely involved,” coach Jimbo Fisher said Wednesday. “All of our meetings, all of our talkings, everything. He’s been extremely involved.”

Fisher said Maguire is “60, 70 percent with the conditioning” drills and putting weight on his ankle. He said “hopefully” he’s be full speed by June.

Maguire fractured his ankle early in the Seminoles’ 38-24 loss to Houston in the Peach Bowl. He returned late in the second quarter and played the rest of the game.

[FSU receives waiver from NCAA to host recruits at spring game in Orlando]

[Hoskins, Thomas emerging at linebacker]

[FSU No. 2 in ESPN FPI]

Francois was expected to emerge from the spring as the biggest challenger to Maguire in preseason camp and nothing that has happened as changed that.

But Fisher said he will learn a lot about his young, inexperienced quarterbacks when they step on the Citrus Bowl field with more than 35,000 fans in the stands.

“That’s why I like the big crowd,” Fisher said. “It’s the one time you get to see these guys walk out there and all of a sudden it’s not a practice field and the stands are full. It’s just another time to put them in an atmosphere and an environment they’re going to have to get used to because we’re always going to play in front of big crowds. I’d rather have that big crowd this week, (they can say) ‘I’ve walked out in front of that many people before.’

“Even though it’s a spring game it tells you a little something about how those guys handle that situation because the more often you’re in it the better you’re going to handle it.”

 

 

 

 

Ro’Derrick Hoskins, Matthew Thomas emerging at linebacker for FSU

HoskinsCN
Florida State assistant coach Bill Miller works with Ro’Derrick Hoskins (18) and other linebackers at Saturday’s practice. (Photo: Chris Nee / 247 Sports)

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State’s linebacking corps has been thinned the past few years by injuries and suspension.

After the graduations of senior starters Reggie Northrup and Terrance Smith, the Seminoles went into the spring with a talented yet inexperienced group. The only linebacker with any significant playing experience from 2015 is redshirt junior Ro’Derrick Hoskins, who had 52 tackles but missed FSU’s final two games due to injury.

“We’ve been doing pretty good with not having a lot of depth, still finding ways to push through and get it done,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins has taken on an increased leadership role for a linebacker group that featured just five healthy players this spring: redshirt junior Matthew Thomas, sophomore Sh’mar Kilby-Lane, redshirt sophomore Delvin Purifoy and early enrollee Josh Brown. Tyrell Lyons, a converted defensive back, and Jacob Pugh, a buck end who can play linebacker, have missed most of the spring due to injury.

A former five-star from Miami, Thomas has played in just 12 games in three years at FSU. He missed half of 2013 due to suspension, was declared ineligible before the start of the 2015 season and has also battled shoulder and knee injuries.

Now healthy, Thomas has made an impression this spring.

“You can tell he’s hungry to be back out there,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins and Thomas have been primarily the first-team linebackers in practice, and their progress is a critical development for the Seminoles as they wrap up the spring on Saturday with the Garnet and Gold game in Orlando at 3 p.m.

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said he’s seen improvement from both players.

“More consistency and trying to take more of a leadership role,” Fisher said. “As a linebacker, you have to make those calls and they’re doing a better job.”

Hoskins was something of a forgotten man in the linebacker group until he began to emerge in August 2015. He started six games and the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Hoskins showed he could stop the run and was effective in pass coverage.

“I’m glad coach (Fisher) gave me a chance to show what I can do,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins said the group of healthy linebackers has impressed him in practices. He said the group lacks experience but asks good questions and works hard.

Brown has stood out in just a short time after arriving on campus in January.

“I am very proud of him,” defensive end DeMarcus Walker said. “He is a great athlete. Quick, fast and smart.”

Now the linebackers have a chance to show what they can do in the spring game. For Hoskins, that means playing in his hometown and at the Citrus Bowl, a stadium where he grew up watching games.

“It’s pretty exciting just because I was never able to play in the Citrus Bowl,” Hoskins said. “It’s going to be a good feeling.”

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher wants OT Rod Johnson be more of a vocal leader

 

Florida State offensive tackle Rod Johnson is working on being more of a verbal leaders. (247Sports)
Florida State offensive tackle Rod Johnson is working on being more of a verbal leader. (247Sports)

Because of its youth, Florida State’s offensive line was a work in progress last season. And with 20 linemen on scholarship this year and several sidelined this spring with various injures expect it to remain that way through preseason camp.

Bob Ferrante wrote about the line in today’s Post, focusing on the unit’s need to improve in short-yardage situations. But one aspect of the story I found interesting was Jimbo Fisher pushing All-American candidate, left tackle Rod Johnson, to be more vocal, more of a leader.

Johnson, a rising junior, was voted to the All-ACC first team and was a Sporting News and USA Today second-team All-American last season. He won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given to the best blocker in the ACC.

But Johnson is quiet. Not a rah-rah guy. A player who leads by example.

And Fisher wants more.

“He gets on me about being more verbal and getting out of my comfort zone,” Johnson told Ferrante. “Pick guys up when they are down.”

Ryan Izzo, who continues to establish himself at tight end, said he has seen the line “communicate” better this spring. He believes Johnson is being heard more. Johnson clearly is the best player on the line which means his leadership is important for this group players, many of whom are young and full of potential.

“I saw Rod stepping up as a leader,” Izzo said. “I see Alec (Eberle), too. I think communication is one of those things that we really needed to improve on. We had a bunch of young guys out there who didn’t want to talk (last year) and I think this year they’re starting to do that a little bit more.”

And how is Johnson doing it?

“Talking with them after every down,” he said. “Being there for the guys when they are down. I’m not the loudest guy. I try to lead by example but now I’m being told to be more action and verbal. This is what I have to do. I know what it takes.”

[Jimbo Fisher uninjured after car accident]

[Big receiver Auden Tate standing out for Florida State]

[Top receiver in country moves Florida State in Top 10]

Big receiver Auden Tate standing out for Florida State

Auden Tate's size could big a big plus for Florida State's offense.
Florida State has not had a receiver with Auden Tate’s size contribute since Kelvin Benjamin.

Florida State has been waiting for a fourth receiver to stand out for the last year.

Now one appears to have separated himself, at least this spring.

Auden Tate, at 6-5 the tallest of the Seminoles receivers, was singled out by coach Jimbo Fisher following Saturday’s scrimmage at Doak Campbell Stadium. Tate

“Auden made a play or two,” Fisher said. “He is having a heck of a spring. He is definitely making big plays out there, making some great catches. (His size) gives him a lot of advantage because he can box a lot of guys out, making acrobatic catches and he’s got good body control.”

Adding Tate, who weighs 218 pounds, to the core lead by 6-2 Travis Rudolph and including 5-10 Jesus Wilson and 5-8 Kermit Whitfield would be significant considering his size. The Seminoles have missed that presence since 6-5 Kelvin Benjamin left for the NFL following the 2013 season.

[Top receiver in country moves Florida State in Top 10]

[FSU lands commitment from four-star QB Bailey Hockman]

[Jacques Patrick making strides in second year at FSU]

One plays says it all when describing how important it is to have a big body at receiver; the game-winning pass from Jameis Winston to Benjamin in the final seconds of the championship game.

“It gives him a lot of advantages,” Rudolph said about Tate’s size. “He can box a lot of guys out and make acrobatic catches. He has good body control.”

Tate, a rising sophomore, is taking advantage of his opportunities in a spring where several of the young receivers have missed time or been limited, including Da’Vante Phillips, George Campbell, Nyqwan Murray and Ja’Vonn Harrison.

Rudolph, Wilson and Whitfield all surpassed 50 receptions last season. Harrison, Murray and Ermon Lane each had six catches. Tate played in six games and did not have a catch.