In this case, the transfer pastures weren’t any greener for a signal-caller — two, actually — who moved on from his first college football home.
Alex Hornibrook left Wisconsin this offseason and ultimately landed at Florida State as a graduate transfer. Jordan Travis took his leave of Louisville earlier this year and ended up transferring to FSU; Travis was ultimately granted an immediate-eligibility waiver.
With those twin under-center developments, Willie Taggart and the Seminoles navigated a three-headed quarterback competition during the spring and on into summer camp: Hornibrook, Travis and one-time starter James Blackman. Sunday night, FSU announced that Blackman is its QB1 heading into the opener against Boise State this coming Saturday night.
The naming of Blackman as the starter continues what’s been a roller coaster ride for the redshirt sophomore.
Blackman, who himself placed his name into the transfer portal earlier this year before undergoing a change of heart, started most of the 2017 season due to an injury to starter Deondre Francois, who regained the job in 2018 only to be dismissed from the football program in February of this year.
Blackman was a three-star member of FSU’s 2017 recruiting class. After Francois went down with what turned out to be a season-ending injury in the opener that year, Blackman started the remaining 12 games as a true freshman. Francois returned as the starter for the vast majority of the 2018 season, missing one game in early November because of a concussion. Blackman started the lone game Francois didn’t, throwing for 421 yards and four touchdowns in a loss to NC State.
In that initial season in 2017, Blackman completed almost 60 percent of his 297 passes for 2,230 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was able to take a redshirt for this past season despite playing in four games.
Hornibrook, who battled concussion issues the latter half of the 2018 season but was cleared for winter workouts in January, spent the past three seasons as the Badgers’ starting quarterback. In games in which Hornibrook started during that span, Wisconsin went 26-6.
In 35 career games played with the Badgers, Hornibrook passed for 5,438 yards, 47 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.
This coming season is Hornibrook’s final year of eligibility.
Travis, whose older brother played baseball at FSU a few years ago, was a three-star member of the Cardinals’ 2018 recruiting class, rated as the No. 25 dual-threat quarterback in the country. As a true freshman this past season, Jackson completed four-of-nine passes for 71 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Because he played in four or fewer games this past year, he took a redshirt for the 2018 season.