FSU QB Sean Maguire's bad break is a gift for Seminoles


Nobody can say Sean Maguire can't catch a break.

There was the one in his left ankle. Then there was Everett Golson dropping on him like a falling piano.

Now Maguire has a crack in his right foot. But his latest misfortune is actually a break for FSU.

Deondre Francois was probably going to be the Seminoles starting quarterback anyway. All Maguire's broken metatarsal really does is expedite the inevitable and save Jimbo Fisher from again having to break Maguire's heart by telling him he'd lost a QB competition.

Nobody was saying that at media day on Sunday. But it's been obvious that a Francois storm has been brewing.

"He catches your eye," Fisher said.

Not only that, he allows coaches and fans to close their eyes and fantasize about the possibilities. Francois could turn into a skittish mess in the Orlando opener against Ole Miss three weeks from Monday night.

Or he could turn into Jameis Winston, the last redshirt freshman quarterback to start for the Seminoles.

There is no such mystery with Maguire. We know he's capable, tough and that some heartless jerk must be sticking pins in a Sean Maguire voodoo doll.

Maguire spent his first two seasons behind Winston, dutifully waiting his turn. It was due to arrive last year, then Golson transferred from Notre Dame for a one-year post-graduate fling.

Golson didn't exactly turn into the post-Jameis savior FSU fans imagined. In came Maguire, who went 4-2. The losses were to Clemson and Houston in the Peach Bowl, when Maguire played despite breaking his ankle in the first quarter.

He underwent surgery, rehabbed like a maniac, immersed himself in Ole Miss tape and was determined to show what he could do when practice began last week.

"I've never felt more ready for a season," Maguire said.

That's what makes his foot ache all the more painful. It came from nowhere, and now he'll undergo surgery Monday morning to insert a screw.

"You ask, 'Why me? Why now?' " Maguire said.

Because it's for the best for all concerned.

That may not sound fair to Maguire, who deserved a healthy shot at the starting job. Maybe he would have made a quantum leap, but after three seasons we pretty much know what he can do.

It's a respectable amount, but it's not what Francois is capable of.

"I love football," he said. "I live it, I breathe it and I eat it."

But can he play it when thrown into the deep end of the Power 5 pool?

Francois was the nation's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback two years ago at the IMG Academy. Before that, he was a budding legend at Orlando's Olympia High.

He has an NFL arm and the mobility to drive defenses crazy. All of which sounds good but could amount to empty fantasizing when Francois makes his college debut at Camping World Stadium.

As with Winston, it will be a Monday Night Football special. Winston completed 17 of 18 passes for three touchdowns _ in the first half of his debut game.

A star was born. This time, the potential star will have the comfort of being surrounded by 10 returning starters.

"That's one of things I like," Fisher said. "We should have enough experience that we shouldn't have to put everything on him."

Francois will now have three weeks to get used to the idea he's the starter. FSU will really feel Maguire's pain if Francois falters, but Hard Luck Sean should be back in a month.

He'd bring calm, experience and dependability, that much we know.


What makes him so alluring is what we don't know.