Deondre Francois Returns From Injury & Tumultuous Off-Season

The Florida State Seminoles were projected to contend for the 2017 College Football Playoff, and Deondre Francois was the man expected to lead them to the promised land. No. 2 ranked Florida State opened the season against No. 1 ranked Alabama, and the Seminoles season began unraveling just a few quarters into the game. Not only were the Seminoles down big, but Francois suffered a season-ending injury in the second half.

Francois suffered a torn patellar tendon on an Alabama tackle, and the play essentially ended both Francois and the Seminoles season.

Here’s how Ortho Info describes a torn patellar tendon injury.

Tendons are strong cords of fibrous tissue that attach muscles to bones. The patellar tendon works with the muscles in the front of your thigh to straighten your leg.

Small tears of the tendon can make it difficult to walk and participate in other daily activities. A large tear of the patellar tendon is a disabling injury. It usually requires surgery and physical therapy to regain full knee function.

Recovering from the knee injury was just part of what became a difficult off-season for Francois.

“It is a blessing [to be the starting quarterback],” Francois told 247 Sports. “Just thankful to be playing the game. It was a long road with ups and downs.”

In addition to recovering from the knee injury, Francois ran into two legal incidents this off-season.


Police Were Called to Handle a Domestic Dispute Between Francois & His Girlfriend on January 23, 2018

According to a Tallahassee police report, police were called to Francois’ residence to resolve a domestic dispute between Francois and his girlfriend. While both parties agreed they were having a disagreement, both accounts of what transpired varied by a vast margin. The Atlanta Journal Constitution detailed the varied accounts.

First a summary from Francois’ perspective:

(On Tuesday) Francois and his friend arrived home and began ‘relaxing and watching ESPN.’ (Francois’ girlfriend) arrived at the residence and began arguing with Francois about a past argument.
Francois asked (his girlfriend) to leave which caused her to become angry. (She) began breaking things and threw a vase across the room, breaking it.
(She) attempted to pull a television off the wall. Francois tried to stop (her) by picking her up, ‘like a hug.’ Francois tried to carry her outside so that she would not break anything else.
(She) began to ‘swing’ at Francois, and he let her go. Francois called the police because (she) continued to try and break things in the residence.

Here’s a summary of what the Tallahassee Police disclosed the girlfriend said:

(On Tuesday) Francois became upset with (the girlfriend) because (another one of) his friend tried to ‘talk to her.’ Francois told Lindsey that she could not speak with another guy.
Francois broke down the bedroom door, picked (the girlfriend) up, threw her onto the ground, cut her forearm, and tried to physically kick her out of the residence.
(The girlfriend) advised that she found out she was 9 weeks pregnant at the hospital (with Francois’ child). (She) had previously told Francois about the pregnancy, so he should have known.

No charges were filed because of the conflicting reports combined with the lack of an eye witness. The Atlanta Journal Constitution explained why nothing came of the incident.

The Tallahassee Police also disclosed that they took pictures of the damage and of the cut on the girlfriend’s forearm. The girlfriend also said she didn’t want to pursue charges…

The Tallahassee Police at the end of the report disclosed that because of “conflicting statements and lack of independent witnesses” they were “unable to establish probable cause to make an arrest for battery.


Police Suspected Francois Was Selling Weed in April of 2017

Less than three months after the previous incident, police had suspicion that Francois could be selling marijuana. According to The Tampa Bay Times, an anonymous person alerted authorities that Francois had a grocery bag of what was estimated to be two pounds of marijuana. Police searched Francois’ garbage on four separate occasions, and found traces of cannabis on three of these instances.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Francois was charged with a misdemeanor possession and offered a pre-trial diversion program. The Orlando Sentinel detailed what was found in Francois’ apartment, and the parameters of the diversion program.

Among other items listed in property and evidence receipts stemming from four separate seizures and Thursday’s warrant: a Bob Marley grinder, several blunts, multiple plastic bags with cannabis residue, an instant drug test cup, three vials of pain medication, two iPads with broken screens, three iPhones and an FSU student ID card for running back Zaquandre White…

In the diversion program, Francois will be required to do community service and avoid any criminal activity for a period of anywhere from three months to a year. He must also pay a cost of $100 for prosecution to the state attorney’s office.


Francois Regained the ‘Noles Starting Quarterback Position

Francois’ off-field woes caused many to wonder if he would even be on the team in 2018, let alone starting. Even though Francois was never charged with anything serious, neither incident looked great for the leader of the football team.

Francois worked his way back both from injury and trying to regain his teammates and coaches’ trust. Florida State head coach Willie Taggart named Francois the starter, and is giving the quarterback a second chance. After naming Francois the starter, Taggart spoke highly about his quarterback.

“He’s been great,” Taggart told 247 Sports. “Just seeing him flying around, talking with his teammates, talking with the linemen. You can tell now that he knows he is the quarterback he is kind of letting himself go a little bit with his teammates. Having fun. He is getting guys where they need to be and bringing guys up and talking to them when he needs to.”

During an interview with ESPN’s Maria Taylor, Francois spoke about how he realized his actions impacted the university, teammates and family.

If Francois is able to take advantage of the chance he has been given, Taggart’s offense sets up nicely for Francois to have his best season yet. The Noles quarterback is happy to put the off-season behind him, and be playing football again.

Source: Heavy Sports