Francois will give Gators one last look

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Francois last visited Florida for its junior day event on Feb. 1. (Photo by Hudl)

ORLANDO — Deondre Francois liked Florida early on in his recruitment and visited the school 10 months ago, but the Gators haven’t been much of a player for him since then.

The Under Armour All-American committed to Florida State last summer and said Wednesday he’s still fully committed to the Seminoles.

But with the coaching change at UF, Francois will return to Gainesville next month to give the Gators one last look.

“I decided to take an official visit there,” he said. “I’m just trying to go check out the campus again and see how the atmosphere is now. I haven’t been there in a while, and I want to see if anything has changed with them having a new coach.”

Less than a week after taking the job, Florida coach Jim McElwain held an in-home visit with Francois on Dec. 11.

“He just told me he thinks I’m the best QB in my class and if I decide to go somewhere else, he would love to have me,” said Francois, who is ranked a top-100 overall prospect by ESPN and Rivals.

“He wasn’t trying to get me to decommit or pressure me. Coach McElwain is a good guy with a good personality, and I like him as a person. I can tell he cares about his players.”

Although the 6-foot-2, 193-pounder likes McElwain and will visit UF, he admits it will be hard to flip him from FSU.

“I wouldn’t say I’m reconsidering Florida because at the end of the day I’m still committed to Florida State,” Francois said. “I’m not looking to change my mind. I’m just visiting Florida to see what they have to offer and make sure I made the right decision.”

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44 COMMENTS

  1. You know, I don’t usually make this gripe cuz they are very young and have a big decision in front of them and it’s the rest of their life that will be impacted. But c’mon folks. Either you are committed or you are not!! Think about it this way. If you are in a relationship, either you are COMMITTED or you are LOOKING AROUND. You can’t have both at the same time!! It just does not jive.

    Or you can just say, “I am committed but I wanta go for the free food.” I’ll take that. It’ll make linguistic sense.

  2. Why wouldn’t any passing QB prospect be interested in having McElwain and Nussmeier as his mentors? Right now Florida spells O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y. Especially on offense, where the Gator program has spent four years diddling to find some measure of success. Just think what will happen if either of the rumored WR coaching candidates joins the staff. Mac and Nuss bring worthy records of developing QBs, WRs, RBs, even units with top-notch TEs and OL, unlike anyone we’ve had since Urban Meyer’s team hit it’s peak and maybe since Coach Orr left the building. And the hiring of coaches Collins and Shannon send a strong message that defense will remain a high Gator priority. There’s plenty that impresses so far.

  3. It’s easy to pass judgement on teenagers who are making such a big decision. These kids are sold the moon and many times they get screwed. I don’t have a problem with a commit leaving the door open. Coaches change, they over sign, multiple players at the same position are told that they’re the #1 guy on their board…but at the same time these kids need a safety net to ensure they land somewhere. This will be the only part of these kids career where they have a say. Let it go.

  4. I don’t have a pony in this race but do you think that after the past couple seasons, high school athletes are more impressed with Jimbo or coach Mac? Did many of us even know who he was before Florida hired him? I believe he will be a good coach but people are not going to swear allegiance to him until he proves something on the field. Just a thought!

  5. The last time UF flipped a QB from FSU they got a Shameous ‘light’ as the result. I would like to know more about this guys Academics, Character, and Leadership abilities. Most any of the top rated QB’s will have the necessary athletic skills.

  6. I would never put Treon in the class with Winston, Treon obviously had consensual sex or the Girl would not have withdrawn her claim. The driving without license is a childish mistake many big city kids make when they go to smaller slower cities like Gainesville. Winston is a Train Wreck that is going to explode like “Hernandez” one day because people around them keep them from seeing the consequences of their actions. GO GATORS!!!!!

  7. da-muddler, you were not consulted when “COACH MAC” decided to try and flip this kid from FSU?? All the rest of us were given a heads up and sent a scouting report with all the information about his academics, character and leadership ability, go back and check your mail. GO GATORS!!!!

  8. Funny. Treon is accused of raping someone and it is consensual sex. He gets caught driving without a license and a car with two bags of marihuana and it is not a big deal. I wonder what we will say if this was an FSU kid. Oh, I know….hypocrites….

  9. The commenter named ’21’ is pretty dense. The Treon Harris incident illustrated the exact difference between UF and FSU. When Treon was accused, the University took immediate action (without consulting the athletic department), suspended Treon, made a public statement, protected the identity of the alleged victim, and launched an investigation. When Winston was accused, the Tallahassee PD notified someone at the University PD who then notified someone at the athletic department so that they could get a lawyer, a consistent story, and start assassinating the character of the accuser. Exact opposites. Do you know what hypocrisy is? Nope. You are a Nole. You are not bright and you have no ethics. And the whole country knows it. You are the laughing stock of the academic world and the shame of college football. Or as you probably put it, “everyone is just jealous of your success.” lol, keep telling yourself that. Accountability is an attractive trait, don’t you think?

  10. First of all congratulations to the Oregon Ducks. They definitely were the better team. I don’t blame any of these kids for taking all the visits they can. They are making a huge decision and should be as well informed as they can about their options. Hopefully the Gators get a commit or two this weekend and a win.

  11. we want kids who are die hard gator fans, bleed orange and blue, who have dreamed of putting on the uniform of the University of Florida and playing the sport they love to compete in regardless who the head coach is or who recruited them or who their position coach is.

  12. Saying that a commitment to a school is like a relationship with a potential spouse makes no sense – these kids are looking for the best option available to secure their future. It’s like saying you are employed but fail to look for better opportunities that will benefit your livelihood and family.

  13. I think a lot changes at FSU once Winston leaves. He had kept them in the mix, Fisher had NO control over Winston. Winston would change plays that Fisher called , he would argue with Fisher on the side lines openly because he didn’t like the play calling off Fisher. they are have great recruiting but the coaching is not there and many will see that JIMBO is not as great a coach as the record would project. This may be a SMART move by the YOUNG and talented QB, though he is no Winston. GO GATORS!!!!

  14. @ Kerrdog, that’s blind stupidity, making a very important decision on pure emotion. You want a Robot, sure we would like for our recruits to want to be Gators, but it seems to me you wold want a kid that thinks this thing through to see if this place fits him and his skill set. otherwise he inflates our ranks and get here discovers “I made a mistake and wants to transfer, everybody looses. This is a big decision and a very important one, let them make informed decisions and their commitment will be much more of a solid one. GO GATORS!!!!

  15. The new year has seen a big change from the last two years. UF has finished with a winning record and their most hated rival, FSU, lost a game. Whether that translates to the recruiting class changing from awful remains to be seen, but at least the results on the field are better. I was hoping UF would get at least one commitment from the all-star games, but at least there haven’t been any decommitments. A big help would also be the early departure of Winston to the NFL. I think many of you are completely idiotic about Winston, it’s your orange and blue blood not allowing you to see facts, but, regardless he makes winning over FSU a very tiny probability for UF. Him staying will delay UF’s return to competitiveness with FSU.

  16. With our changing out coaching staffs we may lose some prized prospects. We might gain some, too. Keeping Coach Summers probably was more important than retaining TRob for our most immediate need, the OL. Terrell Williamscomes from a weak NFL team but his experience in the league and Mac ‘s repeated emphasis on “getting pass rush guys” is encouraging. Coaches Collins, Nuss and Shannon are major league arrivals. That should boost our closing effort with recruiting. More than that…

  17. Yesterday we saw once more the pedestrian offense that completely reflects Coach Muschamp’s regime. It’s been teeth-grinding, unimaginative, frankly boring. In an era in which rules have been altered to enable high scoring, attacking offenses, our just former coach took us on a four-year visit to the days of 1980s Vince Dooley football. While one might admire the coach personally, his tenure has been especially damaging to our recruiting offensive linemen and playmakers. We have a new HBC with an entirely up-to-date approach on offense and already with an impressive new staff taking shape. Don’t know if we can field a strong offense in 2015 given our paucity of experience up front, but, oh my, things are going to look different, be entertaining in 2015 and then much, much better in Mac’s second and third seasons. Plenty of reasons to believe and be optimistic. Go Gators!

  18. Kirk Callahan, grad of Seffner high school where his Dad is still coach, just became Gators’ new secondary coach. Former grad asst at North Carolina under Butch Davis, then at UF with Muschamp and T-Rob. Excellent talent developer at UCF. Reputation as a great recruiter. Ties thru his Dad to Seffner program (Bryon Cowart!). Shannon connects us into Miami/South Florida, Callahan to Tampa Bay. Another big and good hire by McElwain.

  19. Everything is not necessarily great with the hiring of Shannon and Callahan. It re mai8ns to be seen how effective Shannon will be recruiting South Florida. You have to wonder about a guy who was not just an assistant, but is an alumnus and former head coach of Miami going to one of the, if not the most, hated rivals. I don’t think that endears him to a lot of folks in South Florida. As for Callahan, Seffner Armwood is already a Gator factory, so I fail to see how he makes any difference. Tampa was a Gator stronghold, but UF hasn’t got one of the top prospects from the area in a year where the area is loaded. IF Cowart doesn’t come, it will mean that UF has a lot of catching up to do. We’ll see what happens, but the assistants hired will have to actually do something. It takes more than hype, as seen with the hiring of Roper and may others to turn this program around. In the end, it’s not the assistants that make the difference, it’s the head coach.

  20. @aux2 YIt’s the assistants that make or break a college team.

    When Meyer lost all his assistants in Gainesville, you saw the results.

    Look at Saban now. Bama has lost lots of assistants the last few years and haven’t been as dominate.

    Muschamp was a good coach. His problem was never having a qualified offensive staff.

    Can’t judge Roper on this past season. Muschamp had a lot to do with that. Also remember that Roper only got one season. It takes time to build a good offense. So much more going on. Add in the fact the Gators didn’t have a WR coach.

    Shannon will be huge as a recruiter. South Florida isn’t that big on the EWE right now. Golden doesn’t have much support from HS coaches in Miami. Shannon is pretty pissed of at the EWE right now. He wants to make it hurt for them, trust me.

    Shannon may have been the best hire of all the assistants. T-Rob was a huge loss in terms of recruiting. Glad he’s gone. Get it behind us and move on.

  21. Aux2 – If Shannon had quit and gone to UF, maybe a lot of people in South Florida would have problem with him being hired at UF. Since UM fired him be a little crazy for people to hold it against him. I really doubt any high school coaches are upset with him. Surprised that UF would be considered UM’s most hated rival. You would think it would be someone that they play every year in their conference. As Fl

  22. As far as Florida is concerned, would consider Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, Alabama and Florida State all bigger rivals than Miami.

    From your posts I am assuming you are not a Gator’s fan. Every one of your posts is negative.

  23. Of course, hiring Randy Shannon is a coup. He’s not going to be recruiting players off the University of Miami’s roster; he ‘ll be recruiting from high schools players who were 13-14 and, in the future, even younger when his alma mater turned him out. And worthy prospects from elsewhere in the state and other states will find his credibility as a position coach will be attractive for our program. Almost every assistant Coach Mac has hired has strong recruiting ties to the state. He’s bringing with him really good coaches indicative of his philosophy on offense and defense. There’s no question about where he intends to take his team.

  24. The point is that these assistants, like Shannon, are not guaranteed to be great choices. We’ve heard the same hype about every assistant hired, the expectations for Charlie Weiss were much higher than even now, with many saying that he turned Tom Brady into…etc. As for “there’s no question where he intends to take this team,” does a new coach ever intend to fail or be mediocre? It is amazing to me that many Gator fans seem to completely forget that all of these same things have been said before, you only need to change the names, and it’s turned out very differently. Not a single person has an insight on whether McElwain will be a great coach, so why not wait until he, and his assistants, actually does something to deserve being called a great hire? I’m just going on what has happened so far, which is a lot of talk, but the only tangible result has been a three star tight end from Georgia. That’s doesn’t excite me, I need to see something real, telling me that my dog could play quarterback is just more talk.

  25. There’s more talk, then there’s the never ending criminole Ox yappin’ and whistling past the grave yard….. lmao!

    Unranked 6-5 UF 19 – 24 FSU 11-0 Undefeated #3 (+5)
    Oregon 59 – 20 FSUcks – and it wasn’t even that close. (-39)

  26. McElwain has experience as a head coach and turned around a program. Certainly not a guarantee that he will succeed at UF, but does show he can coach. The same could be said with Shannon as an assistant. He has shown that he can recruit in South Florida. Whether he does well doing so at UF, we will have to wait and see. You can’t say because Charlie Weiss didn’t work out at UF, no assistants will. Got the feeling that Charlie Weiss’ heart was never in the job.

    McElwain had one week of recruiting to do before the dead period. He had not had a chance to hire his coordinators and assistants. Unrealistic to expect him to have signed a bunch of recruits. We will see how things go between now and signing day.

    aux2 – How did your prediction work out with the FSU – Oregon game?

  27. I never predicted any outcome of a rival’s game. As for McElwain and any assistant coach, we don’t know if they will be great or mediocre. I’m not predicting either outcome, just pointing out that those who predict greatness are doing so without any valid reason since they are not anymore touted than those that failed before them. As for bringing up a loss to FSU, losing is never something to brag about, even if it’s a close game. UF has a very tall mountain to climb to catch up to FSU. A manifestation of that is to compare the early enrollees of each school this year. It’s almost ludicrous to do so, since there is no comparison.

  28. aux2 – You do not remember posting the following:

    IF Winston wins the next two games, it’d be hard to argue against him being the best player in the history of college football. I know what some pundits say, but watch him and the stat boy, Mariota, play Jan. 1. I predict Winston will again be the winner, and isn’t that the reason you play?

  29. If we are REALISTIC Florida’s staff has a high mountain to climb this year in the recruiting war, but that does not mean they can not reach a High point on that mountain. These guys have Time and relationships against them, but my “PREDICTION” is they will come out way above what many doubters are saying. Prospect and high school coaches are REALLY looking at these hires and starting to see this could be a game changer for many of them. DON”T under estimate the changes that are taking place, they are having a VERY POSITIVE EFFECT!!! GO GATORS!!!!

  30. Corey. Major Gator fan here. Have been since you were in diapers. You want Treon leading our program. Go right ahead. I’ll pass. To the point that Shannon will not effective because the Miami kids will see him as a traitor is silly. Those kids will go to Miami one way of the other. He will be effective. Not as effective as T-Rob but effective nonetheless.