In 2001, Tom Brady was a little-known backup quarterback for the New England Patriots. It took extenuating circumstances for Brady to get an opportunity to start and he never looked back. The rest is football history.
But this isn’t New England nor the NFL.
It didn’t stop at least one individual from comparing Florida State’s Sean Maguire to Brady. Maguire’s high school coach at Seton Hall Preparatory School, John Finnegan, told USA TODAY the sophomore signal-caller is “Tom Brady-like.”
Maguire’s performance against the Clemson Tigers Saturday night exemplified the qualities in the young quarterback’s game which invoked the lofty comparison.
“He’s a competitor,” Finnegan. “[Clemson] knocked him on his ass. [Florida State] had no running game. They kept knocking him down, but he kept playing hard. That’s the kind of kid he is. He’s not going to quit.”
Maguire finished the game 21-of-39 passing for 304 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. But the sophomore’s only touchdown pass couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. With the Seminoles trailing 17-10 with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Maguire connected with senior wide receiver Rashad Greene for a 74-yard touchdown completion. The Seminoles eventually secured a 23-17 victory in overtime.
The biggest difference between Maguire and Brady (one of many things) is the Patriots quarterback never gave the job back to veteran Drew Bledsoe. At Florida State, Jameis Winston is the team’s starting quarterback. And the school takes on everything that goes with that distinction, whether it be a Heisman Trophy, national championship or a one-game suspension due to spewing vulgarities in the school’s cafeteria.
Winston will return to the lineup Saturday against the undefeated North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Maguire is more like the Brady that played at the University of Michigan and had to wait his turn before he became the program’s starting quarterback during his final two seasons on campus. That is, as long as Winston decides to leave for the NFL after this season.