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Florida State football, recruiting news: Herbstreit names Francois among top week one performers

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Football

Kirk Herbstreit, who did color commentary of Florida State’s season-opening win over Ole Miss, had positive takeaways from FSU QB Deondre Francois and the Seminoles as a whole.

More on Francois as ESPN’s David Hale pointed out exactly how rare of company Francois’ debut puts him in.

Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee was impressed with all that Francois was able to handle in his collegiate debut.

In the process, Francois capped off a week of impressive quarterback debuts that included Texas true freshman Shane Buechele's win over Notre Dame, Alabama true freshman Jalen Hurts' romp over USC and Georgia true freshman Jacob Eason's performance in a win over North Carolina.

Playing in his hometown of Orlando, Francois topped them all with 419 passing yards on 33-of-52 passing, tossed two touchdowns, didn't throw a pick or lose a fumble and added 59 rushing yards. His 419-yard debut topped that of former Seminole Jameis Winston, who threw for 356 against Pitt on Labor Day night 2013 in his first game as a redshirt freshman.

Demarcus Walker was named CBSSports’ National Player of the week:

Walker was an absolute beast on Monday night against Ole Miss. The Seminoles' defensive end wreaked havoc on Ole Miss' offensive line and quarterback Chad Kelly to the tune of 4.5 sacks. That's a half-season's worth of production for a good defensive end, and Walker did it in one game.

Finally, Bill Connelly of SB Nation heralded how Jimbo Fisher handled the debut of his new quarterback.

No. 4 Florida State: Sean Maguire's preseason injury turned Deondre Francois into the de facto starter against Ole Miss, and after a second-quarter dry spell, Francois dominated. Despite his line struggling against a dominant front, he threw for 419 and two touchdowns, and not including three sacks, he rushed six times for 99 yards. Jimbo Fisher said at halftime that Francois was playing fine, and he just needed more help; in the second half, he got that help. Grade: A

ESPN’s Football Power Index also liked what it saw from Florida State over the weekend.

Despite the defense entering the season with more acclaim and hype, the Seminole offense was better rated by S&P+, coming in as the third best offense in the country.

FSU jumped up one spot to No. 3 in the more respected AP and Coaches Polls, taking advantage of Oklahoma’s loss to Houston and nearly overtaking Clemson for second.

In another ranking of teams, the ‘Noles jumped two spots in ESPN’s latest top 25 power rankings, taking over the No. 2 spot right behind Alabama.

The Seminoles trailed 28-6 late in the first half against Ole Miss before rallying for the 45-34 victory. They'll get a tune-up against FCS Charleston Southern before another marquee matchup at Louisville in Week 3.

ESPN’s bowl projections made an interesting claim after one week of the season, putting FSU into the playoff while leaving Clemson on the outside looking in. Although some may cry out that the move is a bit drastic, it is entirely fair based upon what we saw in the first week of the season.

Florida State’s impressive comeback was nothing new for the school as noted by SportsCenter on Twitter.

The FSU/Ole Miss game itself set a new record while capping off a spectacular weekend of football.

Alumni

One former Seminole signal caller was included on Pro Football Focus’ list of ten NFL players poised for a breakout season, a list compiled by Mike Renner.

2. Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers

Really going out on a limb here with back-to-back No. 1 picks, but it seems fairly clear that Winston is headed for stardom. If you take away his 2015 Week 1 disaster, Winston earned the sixth-highest grade of any rookie quarterback in PFF’s 10 years of grading, and the best since 2012. The most encouraging sign is that he’s already fearless when pushing the ball downfield. The former Seminole had a 42.2 adjusted completion percentage on throws 20+ yards downfield, the 11th-best figure in the NFL last season.

In more positive alumni news, Pro Football Talk reported on Tuesday that the 49ers have extended Tank Carradine’s contract for another season.

After last night’s game, which former Seminole Jalen Ramsey was in attendance for along with Winston and Roberto Aguayo, Herbstreit asked him about his impact in the locker room at halftime and got an interesting response.

Other Sports

Tomahawk Nation’s head basketball writer Michael Rogner was quick to point out that two Florida State commits find themselves in Rivals’ 150.