Finally Over??

If you're an FSU fan, it's crossed your mind at least once this off-season. Who will be taking snaps behind center this coming season? Well, the wait is over…kind of. This evening new Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher named Drew Weatherford the starter…against Clemson but not the entire season suggesting that the competition is still tight and the race may not be over with the first game.

It's been the subject of vigorous discussion across FSU message boards often ending poorly with neither side agreeing. The QB controversy, or luxury as Fisher calls it, spurred heated debate between Seminole faithful and avid fan-site addicts. With the same strengths and weaknesses of each redshirt junior quarterback rehashed over and over, fans painfully tried to plead their opinion on who should start this season. Well, the long wait and hopefully the debate is finally over…or is it? In a post-practice interview, Jimbo Fisher named Drew Weatherford the starting quarterback for the Clemson game but was quick to dismiss the idea that his decision is set in stone for the entire season.

So, should Xavier just hang up his jersey and start filling out transfer papers? In the words of color commentator Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend." I conducted an interview with Xavier after Tuesday night's scrimmage about the forthcoming announcement and he had this to say, "Yes I am going into it taking it that way [expecting to play Sept 3 at Clemson]" He also cleared up concern about his shoulder saying that its fine with no issues as of Tuesday. It has been said that one of Lee's key areas of improvement was limiting mistakes and when he asked if he felt that this aspect of his game had improved he said, "Yes, the worst thing you can do as a QB is beat yourself and beat your team that's why you try not to turn the ball over and not make those mistakes." Xavier Lee put his heart into this off-season more than he ever had before and he believes that Coach Fisher's guidance has really paid off. "[Coach Fisher has helped with] our ball placement, how we drop back, and what angle we throw certain routes."

According to team sources, Coach Fisher has numerously expressed his affectations for Xavier Lee as a quarterback. It has been the opinion of several knowledgeable sources that Jimbo sees a lot of potential in Xavier and it is certainly possible that the starting quarterback for the season opener is not the starting quarterback by the end of the season as Fisher has switched starters in previous seasons at LSU. When asked to assess Xavier Lee as a player, he exclaimed, "Xai's got a real inner toughness. He doesn't always say it publicly. His personality is more quiet and its more about demeanor. I see it because of how he competes. There's competitiveness in him and I see it every day. I think he's a very good player and I'm very fond of him." He has also not failed to mention that he will play two quarterbacks if it leads to wins, which is a practice he has utilized in the past.

Of course, it would be unfair to say that the starting job for the season opener was not earned by fellow redshirt junior Drew Weatherford. Drew's film-room addiction and weight room/conditioning work ethic is probably among the top drives for betterment of players on this 2007 team. He has been praised several times by coaches for the amount he put into physical and mental improvement this off-season. Because of this ethic, Drew is not going to hand over the starting job to Xavier. The physically-gifted high school superstar is going to have to earn his way back to the top inch by inch, but with an improved ethic of his own that allowed his natural ability to shine a little brighter, he made up some inches this off-season. It seems to be a matter of time before the gap is narrowed between the two potential starters, but the million dollar question is how much time as being beyond the midpoint of his Florida State career means time is not on Xavier's side.


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