CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Alex Hornibrook, a Malvern Prep graduate, departed Wisconsin with the best winning percentage for a quarterback in school history.
Now, he’s in unfamiliar territory -- ACC country.
His new coach, Florida State’s Willie Taggart, made no promises at media day on Wednesday, saying only that Hornibrook would get the chance to compete for the starting job.
During his three seasons as the starter, Hornibrook guided the Badgers to a 26-6 record (.813). His junior season was cut short by a concussion. He is enrolled at Florida State as a graduate transfer.
“One thing Alex brings is experience,” Taggart said Wednesday.
Last year, in Taggart’s first season at FSU, the Seminoles went 5-7 and missed going to a bowl game for the first time in 37 years.
Starting at quarterback was Deondre Francois, who was thrown off the team this winter. Taggart said Wednesday that James Blackman, a redshirt sophomore who appeared in just four games last season, would start for the Seminoles this season.
In 2017, Blackman threw for 2,230 yards with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a freshman.
Although Taggart named Blackman the starter on paper, the coach said that didn’t mean much.
“[Blackman] has been starting since the spring and he will go in [as the starter], but no doubt they will compete and the best man will win the job,” Taggart said.
Hornibrook, who ranks third on the all-time Wisconsin list with 47 touchdown passes and was the Orange Bowl MVP in his redshirt sophomore season, did not transfer to FSU until after spring practice.
Taggart says he is impressed by how Hornibrook has interacted with his new teammates. “It seems like he has been here for years the way he has related to the team,” Taggart said. “Every day I see him with somebody and getting to know guys.”
One of those players is redshirt sophomore receiver Tamorrion Terry, who has developed a good rapport with his new quarterback.
"He is a great player and we work out all the time,' said Terry, who had 35 receptions for 744 yards and eight touchdowns last season. “He’s got a great arm and will put it on you.”
FSU will be running a spread offense, while Hornibrook came from a run-oriented attack at Wisconsin. Terry says Hornibrook will have no problem in the spread.
“I have never seen a kid move like he can while getting pressured,” he said. “He throws on the move well and he has picked up the offense quickly."
Taggart says his expectation for Hornibrook is no different than any other player.
“I expect Alex to come in and compete and try to win the quarterback job,” Taggart said. “I expect that from everybody in the program.”