HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A three-year starter at Florida State, Deondre Francois has played on the biggest stages, against some of the biggest opponents, under some of the brightest lights college football has to offer.
Even after losing one of those seasons due to injury, Francois still wrapped up his Seminole career with 6,291 passing yards and 36 touchdown passes before being dismissed from FSU in February.
After four years in the limelight, Francois says he’s ready to “humble” himself, now as the quarterback at Hampton University. “When I came here, it just felt like the right place to me,” said Francois, who transferred to Hampton in July.
“My Hampton visit was the best visit, not because of the football, but just the city, being around a new environment, around great people, the people are nice here, the city is beautiful and it just gives me time to get out the spotlight I was in.”
There may not be as big a spotlight, but there will be plenty of expectations for a team led by a quarterback who was named the 2016 ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year. “No matter where you go, you’ll have expectations,” Francois said.
“At Florida State, we had high expectations every year. Coming here, I know it’s going to be high expectations.”
His talent was easy to spot from the moment the Pirates began fall camp. “Everything I expected,” said senior wide out Ronald Bell. “Sharpness, bringing the team up to speed, being a leader, just showing that ACC talent.”
Head Coach Robert Prunty took notice, not only of Francois’ physical ability, but his ability to lead. “You see (the players ) line up, you see the receivers get in position, it seems like the O-line, they’re lining up right, you can tell. The guy’s a technician,” said Prunty, who heads into his second season as the Pirates’ head man.
Francois has found a bond with Prunty and the Pirates program, which he feels is “on the rise.” It may take a major step forward with a player of Francois’ caliber leading the charge over the next two seasons.