The Wildcats' headman has several D-I prospects for 2007 but the one who is head and shoulders above the rest is Steffon Francois.
Francois, a 6-2, 200-pounder with 4.5 speed, had a sensational junior campaign for the Wildcats.
In eight regular season games, Francois recorded a total of 141 tackles (67 sols and 74 assists) and five and a half sacks, picked off two passes with one going all the way back for a touchdown, and forced four fumbles. Dautrieve said those numbers did not include three playoff games but he figured that he had at least 40-50 more tackles in the post-season.
The honors that came Francois' way included all-metro, all-district and honorable mention all-state, but how this kid did not make first team all-state is anyone's guess.
There is no question surrounding Francois future because he will be on every college coach's radar but there is some debate as to which position he will play at the next level.
"He will most likely be a safety in college," Dautrieve said. "He started at free safety for us as a freshman but we moved him to linebacker the next year. He will project as a free or strong safety at college but he could also play some outside linebacker."
To crack the starting lineup as a
freshman for a powerhouse program like
"The first thing that jumps out at you is that he will be a four-year starter on a Class 5A team," Dautrieve said. "The kid has been in the line of fire. He has got great range and he will knock the snot out of you. When you see him on film he is always around the ball. And did I mention that he will knock your head off."
Dautrieve said Francois has not picked up any offers yet but he expects them to start rolling in very soon.
"Everyone already knows about him,"
Dautrieve said. "I've got stuff from LSU, USC,
LSU defensive line coach Karl
"Oh yea," Dautrieve said.
Over the years, Dautrieve has had some special players and the first one that comes to mind is all-world quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who was a member of LSU's 2005 signing class.
It is tough to compare Francois to Perrilloux because they play on opposite sides of the ball but Dautrieve had two pretty good defensive backs over the years to measure him up against.
"I had Robert Hammond at Opelousas Catholic and he was a USA Today All-American and then I had Benny Guilbeaux who went to Notre Dame," Dautrieve said. "Steffon is going to be in that same class."