December 21, 2006

Insider Report: Weatherford to start

Weatherford to resume starting role (By Derek Redd, The Osceola )

One day after mulling over whether to make an official announcement on his starting quarterback for the upcoming Emerald Bowl, Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden decided to eliminate the suspense and anoint Drew Weatherford as the guy.

"Weatherford will start," Bowden said after the team's final Tallahassee practice Thursday. "We've solved that."

Weatherford and Xavier Lee shared starting duties in the regular season. Weatherford started the first seven games, when an ankle injury sidelined him and gave Lee the starting job against Miami. His strong performance there allowed him to start against Virginia and Wake Forest, but late struggles put Weatherford back in the starting role, though Lee saw significant playing time.

Weatherford finished the regular season with 1,829 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Lee finished with 885 passing yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. While Lee had shown signs of excellence this season, they were coupled with periods of inconsistency. Weatherford set the ACC freshman single-season passing record in 2005, started every game that season and nine games this season.

Bowden said a week's worth of practice brought him to believe Weatherford should remain the starter.

"I watched them all week," he said. "I wanted them to compete all week and see if there ought to be a change. After practicing all week, I still think (Drew) ought to be the starter."

Weatherford said he'd approach this game like he has in all the other he's played.

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