Transfer Golson hopes to win Florida State quarterback job
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Everett Golson hopes to prove at Florida State that a difficult finish to his Notre Dame career was an anomaly. But first he has to beat out junior Sean Maguire, who has spent the last two seasons as Jameis Winston's backup.
The two leading candidates for the job replacing the departed 2013 Heisman Trophy winner were ushered in separately Sunday to discuss their quarterback competition.
At the moment, Maguire is listed as No. 1 on the depth chart, but coach Jimbo Fisher has already said that means nothing at this point in any of his team's summer position battles.
Fisher knows from his own experience about the challenges of acclimating to a new team for one season. He transferred from Salem in West Virginia to Samford for his final season as a college quarterback in 1987.
After just three days of practice, Fisher has already been effusive in his praise for the 22-year-old Golson, who becomes immediately eligible because he earned his undergraduate degree this spring at Notre Dame with a year of eligibility remaining.
''He has all the gifts,'' Fisher said. ''He can throw it; he can run. He learns well.''
Maguire, on the other hand, led Florida State to a dramatic 23-17 overtime win over Clemson last year with Winston suspended, and he's been in the Seminoles' system for three years.
''He's better and better with his knowledge of what's going on,'' Fisher said about the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Maguire, considered more of the classic drop-back quarterback.
There is a wide experience gap between Golson and Maguire, who has played in just one full game and parts of a dozen others, throwing a total of 70 passes compared to Golson's 745 at the college level.
But the 6-0, 200-pound Golson, plagued by interceptions and fumbles, lost his starting job last year at Notre Dame.
''The past is what it is,'' Golson said Sunday. ''I've learned and matured.''
Golson threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns but was intercepted twice in Florida State's 31-27 win over the Irish last October. He was intercepted 14 times and lost eight fumbles in a season when Notre Dame dropped five of its last six regular-season games.
Maguire, meanwhile, is beginning his fourth year in Fisher's program and is more of the prototype for the Seminoles' passing offense.
''It's good competition - it's the only way to look at things,'' Maguire said Sunday.
Maguire said Fisher came to him when first thinking about checking with Golson on his potential interest in coming to Florida State.
''I'm not afraid of competition at all,'' Maguire said Sunday.
''I didn't come to Florida State to say, `Here you go, you're the starting quarterback,''' Maguire said. ''I'm going to help him, obviously. We're all on the same team.''
Golson, who is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, said he's been warmly received by his new teammates.
There is also competition for the starting tailback position created by the absence of Dalvin Cook, who is suspended. Florida State took two team pictures Sunday: one with their suspended sophomore and another without him.
Cook's status for the season remains in the hands of local law officials. The first freshman 1,000-yard rusher in the school's history faces an early September court date on a misdemeanor assault charge on an accusation he hit a woman outside a downtown bar in June.
Unlike a separate incident that led to the dismissal of freshman quarterback De'Andre Johnson, no video has surfaced from the Cook episode.