Travis ‘thankful’ for FSU in eligibility push

BRADENTON – Days became weeks and then months. Jordan Travis could only be patient.

His transfer from Louisville to Florida State was as complex a scenario as anyone could imagine. Travis was leaving an ACC school for another and departing inside a one-year window from his signing with the Cardinals.

Travis dealt with the stress as best he could. And then there was the relief he felt on Monday when the quarterback’s final hurdle had been cleared: Travis would be eligible to play for FSU in 2019.

“It was very stressful,” Travis said. “My supporting cast, my family, my coaches, my teammates, everyone helped me get through it. I know at the end of the day God had a plan for me.”

Travis’ plan early in life was to attend FSU. Now it’s a reality and he’s in the thick of a quarterback competition with James Blackman and Alex Hornibrook.

The little brother of former FSU baseball star Devon Travis, Jordan would make trips to Tallahassee to watch baseball and football games.

While he signed with Louisville in Feb. 2018, Travis wanted to be closer to his home in West Palm Beach. He examined some other schools after leaving Louisville – Travis said he considered FSU, UCF, South Florida and Florida Atlantic – before picking his “dream school since I was a little boy” and coming to Tallahassee.

But the prospects for playing in 2019 were filled with roadblocks. Travis met with coach Willie Taggart as well as offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and other FSU administrators. The path toward immediate eligibility at FSU would be tougher compared to his other options because he was transferring from one ACC school to another but that administrators would go to bat for Travis.

It turned out to be a longer process than anyone could have anticipated. But FSU’s compliance department covered its bases, communicating with colleagues at Louisville from the start. Travis’ waiver was initially denied by the NCAA before it was approved on appeal, a successful second push by FSU compliance that is considered a rarity.

And then on Monday came the final word as the ACC Faculty Athletic Representatives met before approving Travis’ immediate eligibility.

“He went about his business and he practiced as if he was going to play,” Taggart said. “He handled it well. I didn’t see him being discouraged or anything. He was just patiently waiting and putting all his trust in our compliance department and faith in the NCAA to do the right thing. It worked out.”

Travis wrote a one-page letter to state his argument of why he should be able to play in 2019 and told the media on Tuesday that he didn’t want to go into details beyond his desire to be closer to home.

“I’m thankful,” Travis said. “Everyone that supported me throughout the process. I’m thankful for compliance, who helped me get through this.”

Now, a load has been lifted off Travis’ shoulders and he can focus on the quarterback competition. Blackman is still considered the front-runner but Travis is a good threat to run and fits the offense that Briles wants to run. Travis then could be in position to grab the backup job from Hornibrook.

It’s an offense that Travis feels suits his skill set.

“I see myself fitting in pretty well in it,” Travis said. “I like the offense a lot, I like moving quick. It’s easy for a quarterback in that type of offense.”

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