Florida State held its first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday, and there was a new face taking the first reps at quarterback. Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois filled that role after sophomore J.J. Cosentino had been taking the first reps throughout spring.
While redshirting during the 2015 football season, the Orlando native served as the scout team quarterback and won offensive MVP honors with the scout team following the season for his work. Francois is no stranger to the spotlight, shining throughout his high school years. He began as the quarterback of Olympia (Fla.) high school before transferring to IMG academy for his senior year, where he was coached by Florida State Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Chris Weinke. After starting off 1-1 at the new school, Francois finished out the season, and his high school campaign, winning his last nine games without committing a single turnover. His performance earned him a trip to the Under Armour All-American Game which is where he first connected with current FSU sophomore receiver George Campbell, completing a 60-yard pass to him during the game.
His work ethic is one of the reasons that his game has reached new heights, and his teammates are noticing as well. In an interview with Dalvin Cook, Cook pointed out that Francois was always the last one on the field, always trying to improve on his game. That was no different after Saturday's scrimmage . As everyone started to disperse and go into the locker room, one player remained on the field and continued to work. Unsurprisingly, it was none other than Francois himself.
The former four-star recruit is also getting praise from his teammates and coaches for his progression thus far. After that scrimmage, wide receiver Travis Rudolph said, "Deondre's doing excellent. I feel like he is commanding the huddle and we all have been working with him." Head Coach Jimbo Fisher was also pleased with Francois's pocket presence, noting that he liked what he did during the scrimmage, "He made some really, really nice throws at times today too."
With senior Sean Maguire, the most experienced quarterback on the roster, out for spring with an injury, the window for Francois is wide open. Although Maguire ended the season as the starter, Fisher has reiterated many times that there are no positions set in stone for the upcoming season. And if it's up to Francois, he will make things interesting and continue to challenge both Maguire and Fisher regarding a final decision.