The Florida State football quarterback battle was a major question heading into fall camp, but four practices in it has already been answered. Redshirt senior Sean Maguire broke a bone in his foot during the second day of practice, and will be out until after the Ole Miss game on Labor Day.
Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois was competing with Maguire, but felt bad for him after the injury was announced.
“It was hard to see a fellow brother go through an injury, but this is the game and it’s the way it is," Francois said. "Sean’s a great guy, and it’s tough to see a fellow quarterback go through a foot injury, because you never want that to happen to anyone on your team.”
With Francois taking all the first team reps now, he was asked if it's different that he's now the expected starter.
“I’m going to continue to do what I’ve been doing, doing whatever Coach Fisher asks of me," Francois said. “I’ve been doing that since my redshirt freshman year, stay after practice, did extra work, extra film. Nothing has changed. “I’ve been doing that since my redshirt freshman year, stay after practice, did extra work, extra film. Nothing has changed."
Head coach Jimbo Fisher has praised Francois for his work ethic, noting that he would spend 30-40 minutes after each practice working on the things that Fisher pointed out during practice. That's just the kind of player he is.
“I love football," Francois said. "I live it, breathe it and eat it. I strive to be great. Football will give me an opportunity to take care of my family. I just wanted to learn the game. Sometimes I would move too fast but try to take things one practice or game at a time.”
Fisher has been pleased with the way Francois has mentally prepared himself even before the Maguire injury.
“I like what Deondre has done mentally to prepare. He gets his mind right for practice the right way," Fisher said. "He learns well, he can physically make all the throws. There isn’t a throw he can’t make. He can throw it tight or throw a touch ball. He’s doing a great job learning and listening.”
The rest of the offense has also bought into Francois according to coach Fisher.
“They have confidence in him," Fisher said. "One of the first things teammates look at is his physical attributes. From that standpoint he catches your eye. But then, there’s the work ethic. People respect guys who put the time in.”
Francois will be taking over an offense that is filled with talent, and will have the benefit of playing in the same backfield as Dalvin Cook. There will be a learning curve for him as the season starts, but if he plays anywhere near his potential, the Seminoles will be just fine in 2016.