Working Hard

There's a new chain of command behind center at Florida State. <b>Chris Rix</b> is out due to injury, and <b>Wyatt Sexton</b> is in as the starter for Saturday's home game against North Carolina. While true freshman <b>Drew Weatherford</b> is now the backup behind Sexton, fellow true freshman quarterback <b>Xavier Lee</b> continues to work hard and improve. Lee talked to TheTerritory about his progress and thoughts on redshirting following Tuesday's practice.

First and foremost, quarterback Xavier Lee is a competitor.

That much is obvious as Lee, a true freshman from Daytona Beach Seabreeze, continues to progress and learn Florida State's offensive system.

The Seminoles' quarterback situation has undergone an intriguing facelift since last Saturday's home victory over Clemson.

Senior Chris Rix is out for at least two weeks with a right ankle sprain.

Redshirt sophomore Wyatt Sexton now moves into the starting role for Saturday's home game against North Carolina.

His play could impact the quarterback position both in the present and future.

True freshman Drew Weatherford, meanwhile, has separated himself from Lee, moving into the backup role against the Tar Heels.

FSU coach Bobby Bowden said on Monday that he hopes to redshirt Lee as long Seminole quarterbacks remain productive and avoid further injury.

Bowden also said he thought Weatherford nudged in front of Lee due to his comfort level in FSU's offense.

Lee played exclusively in the shotgun offense in high school. While the shotgun remains a vital part of FSU's offense, the Seminoles also rely heavily on the I-formation.

FSU quarterback coach Daryl Dickey has been pleased with Lee's all-around progress.

"Xavier has done fine," Dickey said following Tuesday's practice.

"He's an extremely talented young man and I think he has a bright future here at FSU. It has been a little bit of an adjustment for him, but I think he has done well. I was surprised about how football smart he was, about how well he picks things up on the field. I have been really pleased."

Dickey said Lee's adjustments include learning his steps as he drops back into the pocket as well recognizing receiver routes -- intricacies all new quarterbacks must master.

"They have a fine program over there (Seabreeze) but how much they were concentrated on steps on routes and all this type of stuff, I don't know," Dickey said.

"That has been a little bit of a challenge for him, this route and this and this. The different drops and everything has been a little bit of a challenge. But has done well with all of it, he really has. He's extremely talented."

Lee, meanwhile, says he feels comfortable in the Seminoles offense despite early confusion, especially with defensive front calls at the line of scrimmage.

"I've learned a lot from the get-go and I've been progressing pretty much every week. There have been some minor setbacks here and there, but most of all I've been learning and progressing," Lee said.

"The biggest transition has been reading the speed of the receivers, the speed of the defense and the different looks they give you."

Lee and Weatherford, meanwhile, are friends. The two have pushed each other since arriving at FSU, and Lee is happy to see Weatherford playing well.

While Lee says a redshirt season is probably the best move for him, he quickly added, "I do want to play -- that's the competitive spirit in me. There are pros and cons (to redshirt season). I am not quite sure 100 percent what I want to do but, in my heart, I do want to play."

Lee also says an extra season could be looked upon as a double-edged sword.

"It can be both ways," Les said.

"It can give Drew a headstart into next year, but it also gives me another chance to improve and it still gives me four years."


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