Grad transfer Alex Hornibrook's Seminole debut is one to remember
For the first time since transferring to Florida State this summer, Alex Hornibrook went into a football game Saturday expecting to see the field.
What he never could have predicted was that he would play this much, or with this much on the line.
After throwing a touchdown strike on the Seminoles' third drive -- a brief appearance that was predetermined by FSU's coaches earlier in the week -- Hornibrook was thrust back into action in the third quarter when starting quarterback James Blackman went down with a knee injury.
And the fifth-year senior more than rose to the challenge. He connected with sophomore receiver Tamorrion Terry on a 60-yard touchdown pass to reclaim FSU's lead midway through the fourth quarter, and then he directed another late scoring drive to give the Seminoles a 35-24 victory.
For the game, Hornibrook threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-20 passing.
"I'm so proud of him," said senior right tackle Ryan Roberts, who is Hornibrook's roommate. "Love the dude to death, man. He works his butt off every day. He's prepared every day as if he was going to play every single snap. He never wavered. When his number was called, he was ready to do it. ...
"I'm so proud of the dude. Works his tail off every day."
Hornibrook's work ethic has been his calling card since arriving as a graduate transfer from Wisconsin during the offseason.
As soon as he made his way to Tallahassee, the former Badgers starter impressed FSU's players and coaches in several areas -- the way he constantly wanted to hit the practice fields to throw extra passes, how he worked to build relationships with the Seminoles' other players, and the speed with which he learned Kendal Briles' up-tempo offense.
It was partly for those reasons -- and partly because Blackman had missed some major opportunities for big plays last week at Virginia -- that FSU's coaches came into this week looking to get Hornibrook some playing time.
"I've been impressed since the day he got here," Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart said. "Those things didn't just happen. Alex put in a lot of work to be really good. He put in a lot of work to understand the offense. He put in a lot of work to get to know his teammates. Like I said before, I'm more impressed with that from Alex than anything. How he came and how the team has embraced him since day one because he's put in the work to get to know his teammates individually, take them out and working on drills and stuff.
"I think the other guys appreciate it. This guy is coming in, working his tail off, trying to fit in with everyone else. He's done a great job. That's why we knew if he got in, guys would continue to play for him, too."
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