Sport Battle-tested QB Francois ready to lead Seminoles

05:35  16 july  2017
05:35  16 july  2017 Source:   msn.com

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Most young quarterbacks with lofty recruiting pedigrees are principally battling two things in their Francois ’s first test as Florida State’s alpha also is likely to be the most difficult one he faces all But he is ready to lead the Seminoles to the top of arguably the toughest Power 5 conference and a

Inside Florida State's complicated quarterback battle . Deondre Francois and James Blackman will battle it out into the fall to be Florida State's starting quarterback . ESPN 300 QB Bailey Hockman was the blue-chip signal-caller in the class, and Francois was coming off a campaign in which he led

TALLAHASSEE, FL - APRIL 8: Quarterback Deondre Francois #12 throws a pass over Defensive End Joshua Kaindoh #13 of the Florida State Seminoles during the annual Garnet and Gold Spring Football game at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on April 8, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida.© Don Juan Moore/Getty Images TALLAHASSEE, FL - APRIL 8: Quarterback Deondre Francois #12 throws a pass over Defensive End Joshua Kaindoh #13 of the Florida State Seminoles during the annual Garnet and Gold Spring Football game at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on April 8, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Deondre Francois could only smile when responding to the question.

How did the former Orlando (Fla.) Olympia High standout sum up his experience as Florida State's starting quarterback last season?

"Bumpy," he said during the ACC Kickoff this week.

"A little bumpy, but I feel like it was a blessing because I learned a lot."

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Receivers Auden Tate and Murray began to emerge toward the end of last season and Jacques Patrick is ready to take over as the lead running back after being Cook's backup the past two seasons. Francois and the Seminoles will be tested out of the gate as they open against Alabama on Sept.

Deondre Francois . Florida State Seminoles – No. 12. Position. Quarterback . Francois passed for 419 yards and two touchdowns, leading the way on a 22-point comeback victory ^ "Florida St. lands Elite 11 QB recruit Francois ". ^ "Sean Maguire, Deondre Francois QB battle key for Florida State".

After a redshirt freshman campaign that saw Francois become ACC Rookie of the Year despite enduring extensive hits from opposing defenders, Francois knew what he had to improve on during the offseason.

Along with placing a heavy focus on improving his decision making and accuracy, Francois hoped to become more patient as a passer and teammate to help Florida State win its first Atlantic Coast Conference title and College Football Playoff berth since 2014.

"Obviously, I feel like I threw the ball well last year," Francois said. "But I feel like there's another step I can take to my game that nobody has seen yet. Once I take that next step, people will understand the hard work I put in."

Staying off the ground will be one of the main points of emphasis for Francois heading into his second season as the Seminoles' signal caller.

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Visit Seminoles .com, and access all things FSU from the official athletic site of Florida State University. Taggart Names Francois Starting QB . Former ACC Rookie of the Year 'has done everything we've asked him to do'.

Florida State redshirt junior QB Deondre Francois will start at quarterback against Virginia Tech on Monday. Just how much Lawrence plays early will give us some idea of how close this quarterback battle is. Bryant deserves the starting gig after leading Clemson to a playoff appearance last year

Florida State surrendered 36 sacks last season, fourth-worst in the ACC thanks to a number of issues.

Whether players on the offensive line missed blocks, or receivers ran routes incorrectly or took too long to get open, Francois often held onto the ball longer than he should have waiting for plays to develop.

"It's the offense as a whole," Francois said, echoing statements coach Jimbo Fisher made throughout last season and during the ACC Kickoff Thursday.

But Florida State's offense made progress last season.

The Seminoles scored on 55 of 57 red-zone opportunities in 2016, a 96.5 percent clip that led the ACC last season, producing 44 touchdowns. FSU also was fourth in third-down conversions, completing 43.8 percent to stay on the field.

After hiccups early in 2016 during losses to Louisville and North Carolina, FSU closed the season on a 7-1 run thanks to improved play on both sides of the football.

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Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will be out for the season after suffering a torn patellar tendon in his left knee in the Seminoles ' 24-7 loss to Alabama on 3dAlex Scarborough. The QB battles that will define 2018. 5dESPN. Looking at the biggest college football game line movement.

Francois , who grew up in the Orlando area, will make his college debut in his hometown during the season opener at Camping World Stadium. – Sophomore defensive end Josh Sweat on QB Deondre Francois .

And Francois deserves credit, leading seven fourth-quarter comebacks to help the Seminoles pull out victories in all of those contests except late losses against UNC and Clemson. He also helped orchestrate the biggest comeback in school history, a 25-point rebound against Ole Miss in his debut.

"(Francois) understands situational football and how to play winning football," Fisher said. "He's great in all those scenarios. That's what I was so proud of and that's rare for a freshman to be able to accomplish. ... I think he had a tremendous, tremendous freshman year."

Francois said he has worked on moving better in the pocket, learning subtle moves to evade incoming defenders, and keeping his eyes downfield. He also hopes to get rid of the football faster, whether it's throwing the ball away or ideally finding a teammate in stride.

The Seminoles begin preseason camp during the first week in August, with the 2017 season opener against Alabama in Atlanta on Sept. 2.

Francois hopes his team's renewed energy, stemming from a thrilling Orange Bowl victory against Michigan and a productive offseason, can pay dividends this season.

"I'm very excited," Francois said. "We had a great summer. Guys are energetic and getting healthy. Everyone feels good. The vibe with the team is going well.

"It's going to be a tough fall camp, but I'm going to push our offense to the limit and see how far we can go."

RELATED SLIDESHOW: Spring games (provided by USA TODAY Sports)

Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) sprints in for a touchdown in the spring game on April 22. College football spring games in 2017

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