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Deondre Francois now in charge of the FSU football team

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In Year Two, the kid has grown up. This FSU offense now belongs to quarterback Deondre Francois.

Now, we see how far he can carry it.

Francois, who starred as a redshirt freshman a year ago, is now the Seminoles’ undisputed leader. With a schedule that includes Alabama, Clemson, Miami and Florida, the expectations are on his shoulder.

“He’s been out there when the scoreboard mattered,” coach Jimbo Fisher told the Orlando Sentinel. “He’s been in big games, almost four or five game-winning drives last year if we could pull a couple of them off.

“He put us in good position to win a lot of games, and he did it under big time situations, so that always gives you confidence.”

As a freshman, Francois proved he had enough of an arm. He also showed he could stand up the physical abuse that comes with the job.

I’m not out here competing with anybody else, but I’m competing with myself internally,” Francois said. “If I’m tired, I have to keep going. The next ball has to be perfect. I can’t have any mistakes.

“I’m just competing to make myself better this spring than last spring.”

Francois led a comeback win against Ole Miss, then led scoring drives to beat Miami, N.C. State and Michigan.

Still, last year, FSU’s leader was running back Dalvin Cook. That’s no more.

“I’m going to miss Dalvin, but he reached his peak and had to go,” Francois said. “A lot of the young guys are learning fast, so it’s going to be fun.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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