Jimbo Fisher and his staff received more good news Thursday afternoon, as quarterback recruit Deondre Francois committed to the Florida State Seminoles. Francois is a QB for the IMG Academy in Bradenton (Fla.). He is formerly of Orlando (Fla.) Olympia. Francois chose the Seminoles over Auburn, Oregon Florida, Tennessee and others.
Francois is a four-star QB recruit according to the 247sports composite. He is widely considered one of the 10 best pro-style quarterback recruits in the country, and was selected to the Elite 11 QB competition presented by Nike, in Oregon.
Francois stands 6'1 and weighs 195 pounds. He does not turn 18 until after his senior football season, and there is some chance that he is not done growing.
I've interviewed and observed Francois numerous times covering recruiting for SB Nation. I've found him to be a bright, engaging recruit. Francois has a huge arm. It's as good as I have seen this year. Some call it a "hand cannon."
Given the huge arm talent, why isn't Francois ranked higher? The height, for one, as despite success stories like Drew Brees and Russel Wilson, it still matters to evaluators. But the issue that Francois will have to work on in college are all about feel for playing the position. He must learn to vary his tempo on the ball, the height and trajectory of the football, and throw with greater touch and anticipation. Those issues are not necessarily easy to teach, but given all of his scholarship offers, it is obvious college coaches are willing to try.
Francois' transfer to the IMG Academy may help him in this area. IMG runs a pro-style offense, and while Francois did not fare too well in his spring game, he is receiving coaching from former Florida State Heisman winner Chris Weinke. I believe a major catalyst for Francois picking the Seminoles is his desire to play in a pro-style offense, and that Jimbo Fisher's last three multi-year starting quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round, with Jameis Winston universally expected to be the fourth.
Francois is close with a number of Orlando-area Florida State commitments and targets, including safety Derwin James, receiver NyQuan Murray, and running back Jacques Patrick, and continues to play for an Orlando-area 7-on-7 team.
Francois becomes the 17th commitment for the Florida State Seminoles, and the second quarterback, joining De'Andre Johnson, of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast. It has always been Florida State's plan to take two quarterbacks this year, and both quarterbacks have been made aware of the plan. Of course, this now becomes very interesting as FSU also accepted a commitment from QB/ATH Kai Locksley minutes before Francois' announcement. Tomahawk Nation will have more in a bit on how the situation might play out.