Welcome Sean Maguire to big-time college football.
Florida State's little-known redshirt sophomore will start the first game of his college career on national television, against a Top 25 opponent and in place of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. And if that wasn't enough on his plate, the winner of the Clemson-Florida State game has played in the ACC title game the last five years.
Seminoles starter Jameis Winston was benched for the first half of Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference showdown for "offensive and vulgar" comments about female anatomy.
Enter Maguire, who has thrown just 26 passes with the Seminoles and was not a highly touted recruit. He ran the run-first, wing-T offense at Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey and did not put up awe-inspiring numbers.
"Sean throws on the run very well, has an extremely strong arm," Fisher said during his radio show Wednesday, "very active with the ball, has good pocket presence. I'm very anxious to watch him play.
"He's practiced well all year and played pretty good when he got in the other day. Had a good fall camp. Very pleased with his progress."
Maguire completed 3 of 5 passes for 28 yards after entering the Citadel game in the third quarter with a 34-0 lead two weeks ago. He played in nine games in 2013 and threw for 116 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The little-used Maguire will have two practices of work with the No. 1 offense, plus Friday's walk-thru by kickoff Saturday. Fisher acknowledged it will be a challenge.
"Backup quarterback is extremely hard to play," Fisher said. "That's the one backup position that never gets to play unless the game is totally out of hand. But you've always got to prepare like you're a starter."
Maguire previously said he learned in 2013 that he's one play away from a huge role on this team. He moved up to the No. 2 quarterback after Jacob Coker suffered a season-ending injury in the ninth game of last season. Then Coker transferred to Alabama. Things have slowed down for the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, but even he knows there will be a difference running the show.
"I remember last year saying you can watch all the film you want," Maguire said, "but it's different when you go out there. You can draw Xs and Os all day and know the offense in and out, but until you go out there and see it and see the defense move and call the mike calls ... it's different."
Florida State interim President Dr. Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox announced in a joint statement Wednesday that in addition to sitting out the first half of Saturday's game, Winston also will undergo internal discipline. They did not say why Winston was only benched for just a half — though that is not uncommon — and they did not provide details of the punishment.
Fisher could decide to hold out Winston longer in the game, though that could be a risky proposition for the Seminoles.
The Seminoles have championship aspirations and one loss could keep them out of the ACC championship game and the College Football Playoff.
Winston said he's been helping Maguire prepare and added that FSU will win regardless.
"It eats me alive that I did something like that," Winston said. "I can't carry myself that way.
"Me and Sean, we're going to watch film, we're going to do what we do, and I'm going to try my best to put our team in a good chance to win this game. I know they've got my back."