TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher named Jameis Winston as its starting quarterback.
The announcement was made after Friday’s practice.
The redshirt freshman completed 12 of 15 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in Florida State’s spring game in April.
Fisher chose Winston over redshirt sophomore Jacob Coker, who threw just five passes in 2012. Coker completed 15 of 26 passes for a touchdown and two interceptions in the Seminoles’ spring game.
Winston is replacing EJ Manuel, who was Florida State’s all-time leading passer in terms of completion percentage. Manuel was a first-round pick by the Buffalo Bills in April.
Fisher said he felt comfortable with both quarterbacks but that Winston was a little more consistent during preseason camp. He said the competition between the two quarterbacks made them better and that the decision was like splitting hairs.
THE TIME IS NOW: Now that Florida State has made it through preseason camp, the Seminoles officially begin preparations for their season opener in a position similar to many other college football programs.
As Fisher said earlier this week, “this is that time.” Specifically, he was referring to the fact this is the time of the year when teams are fighting through nagging injuries as they try to get to the first game as healthy as possible.
Each should be back in time for the Sept. 2 opener at Pittsburgh,.
In addition to Monday’s injury to WR Rashad Greene, DT Derrick Mitchell, OL Jacob Fahrenkrug and QB John Franklin III missed Wednesday’s scrimmage. Mitchell, who missed all of last season with a back injury, has missed time this week because of his back.
“Those big guys have been getting banged on for 16, 18 practices,” Fisher said.
Fahrenkrug was out Wednesday with a shoulder injury. His left arm was in a sling. Fisher said the injury wasn’t a major one. Franklin, a true freshman from Plantation, was being held out for precautionary reasons.
“He’s got a back and a rib that’s bothering him a little bit from torquing,” Fisher said. “It got tightened up like a spasm. So instead of letting him throw, we held him out.”
Greene didn’t participate in the scrimmage, but is expected to return next week at the latest after hurting a finger in Monday’s workout.
The Associated Press, Orlando Sentinel
Gators lose RB Jones for season opener
GAINESVILLE — Florida’s slogan of “Man down, Man up’’ gets tested right away in next Saturday’s 12:21 p.m. season opener against Toledo.
RB Matt Jones, battling a viral infection all preseason, was declared out — as expected — by Gators coach Will Muschamp on Friday. Muschamp said the Armwood product “seems fine” but doctors are concerned about his immune system being strong enough to prevent a relapse. He will have more blood work done Monday.
That means Florida’s combined total of career carries among the top three backs on the depth chart is 40 — all by Mack Brown, who will take the starting spot.
“He’s really progressing well as far as, they’re putting more on him each day as far as physical activity and lifting and different things. I’ve been very pleased with how he’s progressed,” Muschamp said of Jones.
There’s also the issue of how he would handle taking hits after being out so long with no contact at this point.
Jon Halapio is coming back from a torn pectoral muscle and there’s a chance he will also miss the Sept. 7 game at Miami.
“I think that his pec is filling in and we feel really comfortable where he is, but certainly being his senior year we don’t want to push it with him. But I would safely project for Tennessee. Possibly before that, but I would certainly say Tennessee,” Muschamp said.
Depth in the offensive line makes that loss easier to handle.
“I feel like we have a good mixture of guys with (center) Jon Harrison, playing really good football right now. Max Garcia can play guard and left tackle,” Muschamp said. “(Tyler) Moore can play right guard and right tackle. Chaz Green playing right tackle. Trenton Brown is coming along at right tackle. We feel like he’s a guy that needs to continue to progress, but has done a nice job.
“Ian Silberman, Kyle Koehne and Trip Thurman are all guys that can play inside at both guard positions. Trip and Kyle are playing center. D.J. Humphries has had an outstanding camp at left tackle. If you look at the mixture of eight and nine guys, you get Jon back, and you’re looking at 10 guys you’re comfortable with playing.”