At the moment, sophomore Adrian McPherson is listed second and Fabian Walker third behind starter Chris Rix as the fifth-ranked Seminoles (2-0) continued preparations Wednesday for Saturday's pivotal road date at Maryland (1-1). The Seminoles' depth chart at quarterback hasn't changed since presason drills.
However, injuries may force a change.
Walker has gained strength and accuracy in passing drills as he continues to recover from a shoulder problem that surfaced in the preseason. Walker suffered a partially torn labrum when his arm was inadvertently struck by a defender during passing drills. McPherson, meanwhile, continues to be hampered by an ankle sprain suffered in a preseason scrimmage on a sack despite wearing a green non-contact jersey.
That being said, offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden has been left to ponder which player is both healthy and good enough to be the backup behind Rix. Bowden said Wednesday Walker is in position to emerge as that candidate.
"He's in a postion to help our quarterback situation," Bowden said. "Chris is clearly our No. 1. If he were to get hurt, who is No. 2? I don't know. I think it's A.D. but now Fabian's shoulder is getting better and A.D. is still hobbled some on his ankle. I don't know."
This interesting scnario may eventually serve as the deciding factor in the trio gaining needed separation in terms of eligibility. All three are sophomores – each with a twist.
Walker cannot take a medical hardship. He has two years of eligibility to play two years after this season. The injury is the most recent obstacle facing Walker since signing with FSU in 1999. He did not meet academic requirements and joined the team in January 2000. But Walker's standardized test score was thrown out by the NCAA Initital-Eligibility Clearinghouse. He went to a junior college and returned to FSU last year, but the ACC ruled he had to sit out the 2001 season. Walker has yet to throw a pass at FSU.
McPherson completed 4 of 5 passes for 40 yards against Virginia in four fourth-quarter series. That appearance erased any chance for a redshirt season, but McPherson has said he remains interested in sitting out his second year at FSU with a possible medical hardship due to his ailing ankle.
Rix, of course, was redshirted with most of his class during the 2000 season. He also has indicated he plans to remain at FSU for the next two years -- and not leave for the NFL following his junior season. Rix is currently third in the ACC in total offense (209 yards per game) and fourth in passing efficiency (128.1). FSU is ranked first in the league in total offense (501.5) and rushing offense (318.0) and third in scoring offense (39 points per game).