Sean Maguire: Florida State Backup Quarterback Thrust Into Spotlight After Jameis Winston Benched

Sean Maguire is used to watching Jameis Winston from the sidelines, but on Saturday the redshirt sophomore will instead be taking over for him on the field after an on-campus incident left Winston benched for the game against Clemson.

Florida State officials announced this week that Winston would site out the first half of Saturday’s game after multiple witnesses saw him shouting a sexual obscenity on campus. On Friday the team changed course, saying that Winston would sit the entire game.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said benching Jameis Winston was the right decision.

“It was not a good decision,” Fisher said during a teleconference on Wednesday. “You can’t make certain statements that are derogatory or inflammatory to any person, race or gender. You have to understand that. You have to be very intelligent about what you say, (because) it matters.

“You don’t ever want any kind of instances, but we have to keep learning and educating, we have to make better decisions, we have to make good decisions on things,” Fisher added. “And we’ll try to continue to do that and try to educate.

With Jameis Winston benched, Florida State has called on redshirt sophomore Sean Maguire, who has thrown only 21 passes in his entire college career so far. Maguire appeared in nine games last year, throwing passes in three of them, and ended the season 13 of 21 for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

As Florida State’s official website noted, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Maguire is cut from a different mold than the mobile Jameis Winston:

Backup quarterback with a strong arm who plays with poise and efficiency. A natural pocket passer who has the athleticism to make plays on the run when needed. Displays great arm strength, touch and accuracy, and is emerging as a veteran leader on the Seminoles. Was impressive all spring and showed he could handle first team reps when Jameis Winston was with the FSU baseball team. Had a solid Garnet and Gold game, completing 15 of 28 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown.

Speaking to reporters this week for the first time as starter, Sean Maguire was understated about the whirlwind past couple of days.

“A lot’s happened this week, that’s for sure,” Maguire said.

But Maguire said he has been waiting for this chance forever — to take on one of the school’s biggest rivals in a primetime matchup.

“It’s going to be pretty awesome, I’d like to imagine,” Maguire said. “I’ve pictured this since I started playing little league ball, to be given an opportunity like this.”

Fisher said the Seminoles won’t be making any gameplan changes with Jameis Winston benched and Sean Maguire starting, and Jameis has reportedly been doing all he can to help out. He and Maguire stayed up late in Wednesday night, cramming about Clemson in an extended video review session.

[Photo via USA Today]