HAMPTON (WAVY) – There’s a buzz around Hampton University football, and it all centers around the guy wearing the no. 3 jersey. Only days ago, the Pirates added Deondre Francois to their roster.
Francois transferred in from Florida State, where he started the last three seasons. As a graduate transfer, he’s eligible to play right away.
Francois was named the 2016 ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, sat out all but the start of his team’s season-opener against Alabama in 2017 because of a leg injury, and returned to play in 11 games last season.
He was dismissed from FSU after allegations of domestic abuse, though no chargers were ever filed. Francois finished his Seminole career with 6,291 yards and 36 touchdowns. It was believed he would transfer to Florida Atlantic University and play for head coach Lane Kiffen, but he said it was too close to home (Orlando).
Hampton, Francois said, impressed him with a family-like atmosphere, and a life away from the limelight. “Coming to Hampton is just a humbling experience,” said Francois.
“There’s a lot of humble people around here, a lot of people who are striving for better, and that’s what I’m doing. So, it’s a very family-oriented team, and when I came to my visit, that’s what they showed me.”
As a player with experience playing against Alabama, and an Orange Bowl victory against Michigan as a redshirt-freshman, Francois understands there will be high expectations for his team this season.
“”No matter where you go, you’ll have expectations,” said Francois.
“At Florida State, we had high expectations every year. Coming here, I know it’s going to be high expectations. My teammates expect highly of me, as I should of them. My coaches expect highly of us too. The standard is set high here. That’s another reason I came here. I feel like this program is on the rise.”