Florida State just ended its worst season since Bobby Bowden’s first year in 1976, but there’s some good news for the Seminoles as it begins Year 2 under Willie Taggart. Starting quarterback Deondre Francois announced on his Instagram page — which is private — on Wednesday that he’ll be returning to Florida State for his senior season.
“While my dream is to play in the NFL, at this time I feel that there are areas both within my game and my life that I need to improve upon to succeed at the next level,” Francois said via ESPN. “I don’t take for granted the privilege it is to wear the Garnet & Gold. I love Florida State, my brothers and know I have much more to offer.”
While this may not seem like a huge shock, recall in December when Taggart told reporters that Francois was “weighing his options,” adding, “But we’re going to support Deondre whatever he decides to do. But that’s where we’re at with that,” Taggart said.
Francois has been Florida State’s starting quarterback since 2016 but missed almost all of the 2017 season with a knee injury. He had a rough 2018 effort, throwing for 2,731 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions; however, he also played with a poor offensive line, to say the least, and often from behind. Offensively, there simply wasn’t much Francois could do with so little protection.
Moving forward, there’s no guarantee Francois will win the job for next year. He’ll be in a fierce competition — again — with James Blackman, who has plenty of starting experience himself after filling in for Francois over the past two seasons. And technically, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 14, so there is still time for Francois to change his mind. He could also transfer out of the program at a later point. For now, though, he’s coming back to the Seminoles.