NAME: Deondre Francois
SCHOOL: Florida State
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 12
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 204 lbs
The ACC Rookie of the Year in 2016, Francois suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener against Alabama in 2017. Battling Justin Blackmon for the starting job in Willie Taggart’s first season as head coach in Tallahassee, Francois’ is no lock to be the Noles starter.
What stood out regarding Francois in 2016 was his toughness. Constantly harassed by opposing defenses, Francois faced persistent pressure on a weekly basis. He hung tough in the pocket and kept dealing despite taking routine shots. Now some of those shots are squarely on Francois’ shoulders. While Florida State has struggled in recent years to pass protect, Francois often missed unaccounted for blitzers or held onto the football for too long.
While Francois is guilty of not regularly feeling pressure, he did show a strong ability to diagnose coverage and attack secondaries where they are most vulnerable. A good athlete, Francois has the ability to extend plays and hit throws on the move. Despite his dual threat capability, Francois is a thrower first and does well to keep his eyes down the field. In fact, Francois would benefit from taking off more to keep defenses honest.
Where Francois needs to also demonstrate growth is in terms of ball placement. His accuracy is inconsistent and he has not shown the ability to hit touch throws. His decision making can also stand to improve as he too often is willing to test double coverage and often leads his targets into coverage more so than he does space.
Entering his junior season, Francois’ plate is full as he is finalizing his rehab, learning a new offense and battling for his job.