La. Safety has a plan

There must be something in the water in Reserve (La.) because year after year East St. John head coach Larry Dauterieve churns out a prospect who is on just about every school's most wanted list.

This year that prospect is standout safety Steffon Francois (6-1, 205, 4.5).

Francois has already garnered one of the top early honors for 2007 as a member of's pre-season Top 100.

As a junior, Francois was an honorable mention all-state selection but after the year he had I don't know how in the world he was overlooked for first team honors. All he did was record a total of 141 tackles (67 sols and 74 assists) and five and a half sacks, pick off two passes with one going all the way back for a touchdown, and force four fumbles.

Those stats were through eight regular season games and did not take into account the 40-50 tackles Dauterieve figured he racked up in three playoff games. Averaging 17 tackles a game is exceptional but not good enough for some, I guess.

Recruiting has gotten off to a good start for Francois as he has three scholarship offers but feels very confident that several more are on the way.

"LSU and Ole Miss have given offers in writing and coach (Dauterieve) told me that Texas offered me verbally the other day but I haven't gotten it in writing," said Francois. "Tennessee, Florida, Florida State and Georgia are also sending a lot of stuff and I think they are all going to offer too."

LSU running backs coach Larry Porter is recruiting Francois for the Tigers and the two spent quite a bit time together at LSU's Junior Day.

"It was fun," said Francois when asked about junior day. "I've been there a lot over the years but this was the first time I got to tour the whole campus and see all of the facilities. I got to spend a lot of time with coach Porter too and I met the rest of the coaches. They have a wonderful coaching staff but I really like coach Porter."

Over the past two years Francois has been a frequent visitor to LSU unofficially as two of his good friends and former teammates, Ryan Perrilloux and Ricky Dixon, were each one of the Tigers' top targets in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Perrilloux and Dixon have done their share of recruiting Francois for LSU and reuniting with his good friends is a hot topic.

"They want me to come to LSU but that also want me to do what is best for me," Francois explained. "I'd like to get to play with them again and we talk about that a lot."

As big as Francois is at this stage of his development he could very easily grow into a linebacker. He plays a cross between a safety and SAM linebacker in East St. John's scheme but for now Porter is projecting him as a safety.

"I play more of a free safety right now and that is what I want to play in college," Francois said. "Coach Porter doesn't talk about free or strong but he just says safety."

Recruits from East St. John are known for playing out the recruiting process and not making a decision until late in the game and at this point Francois said he does not have a favorite but he does have a game plan.

"I'm going to wait and take some visits before I commit anywhere," he said. "At this point all I really know is that I want to take official visits to Tennessee, Texas and LSU for sure."

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