Aug. 31, 2005
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Redshirt freshman Drew Weatherford will start at quarterback for No. 14 Florida State in the season opener Monday against No. 9 Miami.

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Weatherford beat out fellow redshirt freshman Xavier Lee for the job.

"It looked from about the third scrimmage on that Drew would be the guy you'd start," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Wednesday. "He has all the tools to be an outstanding quarterback."

Bowden said he considered Weatherford the starter and Lee, possibly, the closer.

"I want both of them practicing with a number one mentality," Bowden said.

The veteran coach said he expected Weatherford and Lee would battle throughout the season for playing time.

"They will continue this competition," he said. "This is not a season-ending contest."


Drew Weatherford will learn quickly what it's like playing top competition. (AP)
The competition at quarterback came down to the two inexperienced passers when Wyatt Sexton was lost for the season to Lyme disease. Sexton started seven games a year ago.

Weatherford played one play last season, spraining his ankle against North Carolina in the fourth game of the season. He had surgery on it this spring, but has been healthy throughout August.

Lee has been troubled by a sore arm, but Bowden said Wednesday that Lee's arm is now fine.

Miami coach Larry Coker said Wednesday his team is prepared to face either quarterback.

"I think it's a good possibility we'll see both," Coker said.

Miami will also go with a first-time starter in redshirt sophomore Kyle Wright.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Weatherford threw for 401 yards in one scrimmage, connecting with a dozen different receivers.

"I've been steady, consistent," Weatherford said about his practices and scrimmages during August. "I think that's what they want."

The last time a Florida State quarterback debuted against Miami was 20 years ago when freshman Chip Ferguson made his first collegiate appearance in a 35-27 loss to the Hurricanes. Ferguson completed 14-of-28 passes for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

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