Breaking news is when something happens that we all didn’t know or see coming. What FSU did today in confirming Deondre Francois as the team’s starting quarterback for the 2018 season was not breaking news. Most observers had been anticipating this decision since the beginning of camp.
The competition was good and I believe everyone had a fair chance, but most of the checkmarks that you wanted to see from the starting QB, Francois met.
One of the biggest question marks coming in to the fall about Francois was where his head was at following off-season trouble and a 2017 season lost to injury? Much was made of his body language last season after injury. He seemed disengaged when he was no longer involved due to injury.
Fans were unhappy when he missed an FSU game to attend The Florida Classic, FAMU vs. Bethune-Cookman. I believe some of that was on overall leadership, but I don’t want to talk about Jimbo Fisher.
Off-season domestic violence allegations seemed poised to further sidetrack his career. It has gone unreported how he was falsely accused. His connection to a drug investigation presented another potential roadblock. Nothing was subsequently found on him.
Despite being innocent, these are not situations you want your starting QB connected to.
Francois has apparently done a completely 180-degree turn-around since spring. He’s seemingly a phenomenal teammate and has done what is necessary to earn the confidence of the coaching staff. He moved back into the football dorms and has been involved in the community.
I’ve personally seen him do a football camp with former Doak Boy Ernie Sims personally. He overthrew my son, but hopefully he’ll have better synergy with the current receivers at FSU.
Plus, he got rid of the man bun. I’m sure that had to have something to do with everything.
That injury he sustained in last year’s season-opener wasn’t a routine knee reconstruction – if there is such a thing. It was a very difficult rehab.
Similar injuries to other players have taken two years to fully recover; Francois returned in well under 12 months. That shows dedication and more importantly, him committing to the off-season program with strength coach Irele Oderinde. He’s gained 15 pounds of muscle so he should be more durable.
He’s going back home working out with QB coaches at IMG and even at practices the ball has more zip and he looks like he still has some explosiveness.
In this offense, the QB has to be a threat – you’ll take some hits. You have to have confidence that your QB can take the banging.
Here is a guy who has had success being the QB at FSU. Football is a game that you definitely need the physical tools, but confidence enhances that. The ability to walk on the field and know that you can take this team to the next level is key.
Also, knowing that when you were the QB you were a bogus penalty against Clemson and a clutch field goal against UNC away from taking your team to another conference title and potentially a playoff birth. Even in those games, offensively, Francois did enough to win.
This offense is about moving the ball and snapping it quick. You need an astute signal caller. I’ve talked about it being similar to basketball, you need a good point guard that can effectively distribute the ball who is also a scoring threat himself. Francois, healthy, is great on the run and has the accuracy and confidence to give FSU the best chance of winning now.
That’s what Taggart has to do – win now. He’s not getting a first year pass.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/no-surprise-as-seminoles-name-deondre-francois-starting-qb