Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is one of the top quarterbacks in college football, and preparing a defense for what he is able to do is extremely tough. Florida State thinks they've found the answer to that in the form of true freshman quarterback Deondre Francois.
Francois is a very talented football player. He was the No. 118 prospect in the country coming out of highschool last season. It's never easy to go from the starting quarterback to a guy that doesn't play, but Francois has handled the transition well. Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher believes his willingness to help the team in this way has earned him the respect of his teammates.
"[It's helped] Big time," Fisher said. "[He] can run and then the arm strength, arm strength to make all the big time throws and throw balls in small holes and get the ball down the field but you don’t’ always get that realization sometimes with scout team guys. That’s why Jameis did it when he was there, go back to Jamarcus and all the guys over the history, those guys, they take that. And also I think it earns them great respect from their teammates because those guys know, hey this guy can get it done too, I think that builds confidence in them."
He has been running the scout team to help give the Florida State defense better looks at their next opponents all season according to defensive end Demarcus Walker
“Francois been giving us looks ever since Texas State," Walker said. "He hasn’t just started doing this, he’s been doing this every week. He’s going to be a great player in the future."
Redshirt senior defensive tackle Giorgio Newberry has been very impressed with Francois' play on the scout team so far this season. So much so that he thinks Francois may end up better than Watson.
"He does a tremendous job for us week-in and week-out regardless of who the quarterback is. He’s probably going to be just as good as Watson if not better. He has a strong arm, he can throw, he’s fast. He’s a smart quarterback. He helps us out a lot as far as giving us a look on defense. He’s been doing a great job for us."
Watson is a Heisman Trophy caliber quarterback, and for Newberry to say that about Francois is a bit premature. Still, if Francois is impressing his teammates that much, and they think he has that type of ceiling, It says a lot about Florida State's quarterback situation moving forward into 2016.