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Florida State football, recruiting news: Is Deondre Francois the ACC’s next Deshaun Watson?

FSU was named a top contender to land the pledge of the No. 1 cornerback in the 2018 recruiting class.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Michigan vs Florida State Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


David Hale, an ACC writer for ESPN, included Deondre Francois on his shortlist of candidates to be the conference’s next Deshaun Watson.

The best bet: Florida State QB Deondre Francois

While Watson’s freshman season was marked by injuries, Francois -- miraculously, perhaps -- managed to stay on the field while enduring his share of ups and downs. But what the two have in common is a warrior mentality and a maturity that is rarely seen in such young QBs. Francois’ Total QBR of 79.6 ranked 13th among quarterbacks last season, and he posted that number despite 34 sacks. The only quarterback who was taken down more often and posted a better Total QBR was Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. Francois’ 8.4 yards per attempt last year actually ranked ahead of Watson, and he was one of just three Power 5 QBs to total at least 25 touchdowns and 3,500 yards and throw no more than seven INTs.

Safid Deen of the Orlando Sentinel took a trip into enemy territory over the weekend to write on Alabama’s spring game, the Tide recovering from its championship game loss to Clemson, and looking ahead to the week one matchup with Florida State.

ESPN’s Big Ten writers may have claimed that their conference has the best collection of coaches in the country but Jared Shanker begs to differ.

The ACC doesn’t have the most bling, but it’s the only conference with two active coaches that can flash national championship jewelry -- Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. Urban Meyer’s lone equal is Nick Saban, but Fisher and Swinney are right below.


Florida State will be getting a visit from top 2019 linebacker Owen Pappoe this weekend. Pappoe, who attends the same school as recent FSU commits Wanya Morris and Kenyatta Watson, has the Seminoles very much in the mix among his top schools.

Florida State also got good news from 2018 cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr., the No. 1 CB and No. 4 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class, who named the Seminoles among his top teams after defensive coordinator Charles Kelly came to observe his practice.

FSU welcomed in four-star defensive lineman Rick Sandidge on Monday for an unofficial visit. ($)


Jonathan Isaac continues to hold firm as a near-consensus top-five pick in various NBA mock drafts, including the latest by SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell.

4. Boston Celtics — Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State

The Celtics showed how much they value two-way potential when they picked Jaylen Brown at No. 3 last year. Isaac would be another move in that direction. He has quick feet for a 6’11 forward and can hit a catch-and-shoot jumper. His defense should be a safe bet and his offense could make him a star if his skill set continues to develop as he gets older and stronger.

Colin Becht of Sports Illustrated has Dalvin Cook going significantly higher in this week’s NFL Draft if selections were made on college production alone.



The Jags need a dynamic back to take some of the pressure off Blake Bortles, so they spring for Cook, turning to a Florida State star for their first-round pick for the second straight year.

Other Sports

The Florida State softball team improved to a perfect 21-0 in ACC play this year with a win over Louisville on Monday night.

While Monday’s game against UL was going on, the National Pro Fastpitch League was holding its 2017 draft. Two Seminoles were taken among the top ten picks, including one as the No. 1 overall pick.