One of the quarterbacks on Florida State’s roster will have the extremely challenging task of replacing Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston in 2015. Redshirt junior Sean Maguire has made it very clear that he wants that challenge. He wants to be the man.
After Florida State lost to Oregon in the first round of the playoffs Winston had some words for Maguire.
“He just said that it’s your team now,” Maguire said. “Stay in the film room and lead these guys. They’ll follow you and it’s your time.”
He’s going to have his chance to make it his time as he heads into spring practice as the number one quarterback, something that he’s very excited about.
“You just feel like it’s your team,” Maguire said. “You still have to prepare and be ready, but it’s different knowing you’re the first guy out there and that it’s your team and that those guys have your back and that I have theirs.”
Maguire has an advantage over the other quarterbacks since he has already started a game at Florida State. Last season, with just two days to prepare, Maguire was forced into the starting spot with Jameis Winston’s suspension. He finished the game 21-39 for 304 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions against the nation’s best defense.
“I was saying that going into the spring not having that gap or some coaches or players saying ‘how’s this kid going to react in a game,’” Maguire said. “It adds to my confidence that I’ve already played in a full game against a good competitor.”
No matter how confident he is it wouldn’t matter if the team didn’t respond to him as a leader, but he says that’s not an issue.
“I mean all the receivers, Bobo, Travis, Ermon, they respect me and I respect them,” Maguire said. “Dalvin. They listen to me and see me as the leader out there. Those are the guys you got to win over. That’s what makes the team click and mesh, and if you can’t win your receivers and running backs over then you have a problem. It’s very reassuring.”
He already had that bond with the new offensive line from his time as the second team quarterback last season.
“It’s very familiar,” Maguire said. “I ran with Chad, Kareem, and even big Rod for the beginning of the year and Hoefeld and Bell. Some of them had trouble accepting being in the two role and I just told them ‘It’ll be our time soon.’”
“I think I’ve learned so much from two springs ago to now,” Maguire said. “I got to see Jameis, Clint, and Coker play. Even EJ my freshman year. You have to look at that as a positive. Being in that quarterback room watching them on the field. Look at what Clint did at West Virginia and Jake will probably start at Alabama.”
Head coach Jimbo Fisher likely won’t name a starter at the end of spring practice, and could wait until the opening day to name one. Maguire said he isn’t worried about that at all.
“I’m not worried about when coach Fisher’s going to make his decision,” Maguire said. “I can’t let that affect anything I do on the field. I have to go out there everyday, whether he announces or doesn’t announce it, and practice and play the same way.”
Maguire has waited a long time for his chance to be the man, and he’s making sure that he makes the most of it.