Five takeaways from Florida State's spring football game – Tampabay.com
TALLAHASSEE – Judging by the crowd for Florida State’s spring game on Saturday, Seminoles fans are excited about the dawn of the Willie Taggart era.
The official attendance of 53,974 — a new record for a spring game — included legends Bobby Bowden, Derrick Brooks, Deion Sanders and Dalvin Cook. For comparison, FSU announced a crowd of 58,780 for its regular-season finale against Louisiana-Monroe.
“You can sense the energy around the whole community,” Taggart said.
Here are five takeaways from Garnet’s 31-13 win over Gold at Doak Campbell Stadium:
— Matt Baker (@MBakerTBTimes) April 14, 2018
1. James Blackman looked like the quarterback to beat. Ignore his numbers (16-of-32, 259 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions); Blackman was playing on a team with only one scholarship receiver. What matters is that Blackman, last year’s starter, seemed comfortable with the offense and displayed a strong arm. The game’s other starter, redshirt freshman Bailey Hockman (11-of-22, 203 yards, one touchdown), improved as the game wore on but missed too many open throws. Taggart said he was impressed with how Hockman played after being hobbled by a foot injury this spring.
“For him to go out and execute and lead his team to victory said a lot about him, what he’s all about,” Taggart said.
Maybe Hockman will find a way to insert himself deeper into the quarterback competition. For now, the top two candidates still look like Blackman and 2016 starter Deondre Francois, who didn’t play Saturday as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Taggart said the Seminoles are handling Francois’ recent marijuana complaint internally and that Francois remains on the team.
“He understands his responsibilities as a student-athlete here,” Taggart said. “He understands my expectations and what we’re