When you grow up in Florida and you play football like Deondre Francois did, getting the chance to play at Florida, Florida State or Miami is a big deal. Getting the chance to play at all three? That makes you one of the players in the country, not just the state of Florida. Forget rankings, forget arbitrary "stars," all that matters is when Al Golden, Jimbo Fisher and Will Muschamp say "We want you."
Welcome to the life of a high school quarterback. Yes, it's Torrance Gibson who gets a lot of attention (deservedly so) from the analysts, but Francois, from Orlando's Olympia High School, isn't paying attention to anything but what's coming next for him, and it's something he's been preparing for.
"Recruiting has really been ramping up for a while," Francois told Eleven Warriors. "I'm enjoying the recruiting process, and I'm adjusting well to the new attention and publicity."
Ohio State is one of the schools that have thrown their hat into the ring for Francois. The Buckeyes offered him a scholarship in mid-February did so without seeing the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder throw in person, a rarity for the Buckeyes.
"Tom Herman was the one who offered me," he said. "They liked my film. I'm hopefully going to get up there over the summer (for a visit.)"
It's been speculated that the Buckeyes could look to sign two quarterbacks for 2015, but what would they need to have in order to impress Francois?
"Education," Francois replied when asked what is the biggest factor in his college choice. "Also, a good family atmosphere. Every school has nice campus and stuff like that."
With offers from Ohio State, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Louisville, Nebraska, and plenty of others, Francois is keeping focused on what he needs to do on the field and not worrying about the comparisons between himself and other high school quarterbacks. He doesn't lack confidence about his skill-set, however. He lists his arm strength and patience in the pocket, along with a quick release as a few of the things that separate him from other quarterbacks he's seen.
"I feel like I am the best quarterback in my class," he said. "I am focused on my goals and my strengths."