The ongoing saga of where former FSU quarterback Deondre Francois will play in 2019 took one final turn on Friday. That’s when Hampton University announced that he had enrolled there to play quarterback this season.
This is the latest chapter in Francois’ descent from having been the starter in Tallahassee and has landed him at an FCS school, where he will be eligible immediately:
— Hampton Athletics (@HUAthletics1868) August 2, 2019
We wrote earlier this summer that Francois was apparently going to walk on with Lane Kiffin’s FAU program in Boca Raton. However, Kiffin had confirmed earlier at Conference USA media days in July that Francois was not going to be with their program.
Francois was dismissed at Florida State in February after yet another domestic violence situation/allegation arose from his girlfriend. She had previously accused him of domestic violence without charges being filed, but posted an Instagram video for a few hours of the two of them arguing and Francois threatening her.Noles coach Willie Taggart was basically left with no choice due to the latest outcry about Francois’ behavior.
Francois quarterbacked the Noles for 11 games in 2018, as Florida State had their worst season in over 40 years finishing 5-7 and missed a bowl game for the first time since 1981.
He had much more success as a redshirt freshman in 2016 for then Coach Jimbo Fisher, as Florida State won nine games, and was victorious in the Orange Bowl over Michigan. Francois was named the MVP of the game.
That led FSU to being ranked in the preseason top 10 for 2017. However, it was short lived for them and Francois, as he was injured in the 2017 opener against Alabama. Tearing his patellar tendon, Francois was lost for the season with knee surgery.
Francois had reportedly be considered transferring after he graduated from FSU in December and made him available to play immediately next fall somewhere else. Francois dispelled that and re-enrolled at FSU in January to remain their quarterback potentially for this fall. However, the latest off-field controversy / misstep cost him the final chance at that opportunity.
Francois has two years of eligibility remaining and can play for the Pirates immediately.
Florida follows California’s lead on paying college athletes
California is blue. Florida is red. The two states now share the same outlook on college athletes gaining more green.
In late September, California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, signed Senate Bill 206, allowing college athletes to profit from sales of their name, image and likeness, and to retain scholarships even while signing endorsement deals with companies and earning added income.
The legislation does not allow schools to directly pay athletes, but it does enable athletes to venture into commercial activity, effective in 2023. The NCAA has a few years, then, to adjust to the current reality. So far, it has opposed SB 206.
Would another state – especially a high-profile one with a large recruiting pool – follow California’s lead? Florida, though led by a Republican governor, has done just that.
On Thursday, as reported by Emily Mahoney of the Tampa Bay Times, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his support of legislation to enable college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
It is significant that a big recruiting-magnet state such as Florida joined California. It is also significant that a Republican governor expressed (rare) agreement with deep-blue California’s efforts, creating a bipartisan dimension to support for this particular policy.
DeSantis (above) said California is on “the right track” with its legislation. He said that if Florida’s legislature can pass this legislation, the NCAA might need “to reevaluate” its position on the matter.
“I’m confident those issues can be addressed in a way that will maintain college athletics as really special thing but also provide the ability for our student athletes to be able to benefit just like anybody else would be able to benefit,” DeSantis said.
The bipartisan nature of this effort in Florida was affirmed by the fact that Florida Representative Kionne McGhee, the state’s House Democratic minority leader, filed one of the bills DeSantis supports. Rep. McGhee appeared with DeSantis on Thursday in a public show of cross-party unity.
Rep Kionne McGhee about House proposal to allow college athletes to be paid: “We’re tired of the hypocrisy in the classroom” where students are taught about capitalism but not allow access to the free market
— james call (@CallTallahassee) October 24, 2019
California is often seen as an example of what NOT to do by Republicans in particular and conservatives in general. Thursday’s news represents an exception to that reality.
It offers an interesting new plot twist in the way this larger set of issues is perceived in collegiate athletics.
Former USF QB Quinton Flowers returns to Tampa in XFL
Next February, the XFL Football League will reemerge in its reformed version by Vince McMahon. On Tuesday, the league’s eight teams were making preparation’s with a draft of players. And, this includes the Tampa Bay franchise, The Vipers, who in the 5th round, selected former USF Bulls quarterback, Quinton Flowers.
Even though his previous seasons in Tampa have been spent under center, he has been selected as a running back for the Vipers.
— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) October 15, 2019
We wrote previously, that a local high school and SEC star, Aaron Murray was given to them as their starting Quarterback.
— Tampa Bay Vipers (@XFLVipers) October 15, 2019
Murray has ties to the Tampa Bay area, as a native who led Plant High School to a State Football Championship. He’s also the Southeastern Conference all-time leader in completions passing yards and passing touchdowns in a career.
Murray briefly was with the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles from 2014-16.
He was last seen quarterbacking earlier this year in the now-defunct Alliance of American football with the Atlanta Legends (above) franchise. They selected Murray for the same regional interest of him having played college ball down the road in Athens, Georgia.
As for Flowers, in his time at USF he threw for 8,124 yards, 71 TDs and 23 INTs while also rushing for 3672 yards and 41 TDs.
Though he had a record-breaking career at USF (he owned or shared 34 school records), there was lots of debate about the dual-threat’s quarterback to succeed professionally. Flowers was dominant as a run-heavy QB, and he became #1 in the schools career rushing attempts, career rush yards, single season rush yards, rush yards and attempts by a quarterback, rushing touchdowns in a season, career rushing touchdowns, and yards per rush in a season.
Many scouts felt as though he needed to consider a position change from quarterback if he hopes to succeed in the NFL, which ended up happening when he was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals, as an undrafted free agent in 2018 as a running back. After being waived the following summer, the Colts signed him to the practice squad, but then released him six days later.
Now, in the second ever XFL Draft, Flowers went number 37 overall, is returning to not only the same city, but same stadium that he took four years of snaps in during college.
The XFL have continued to fill out rosters in the Tuesday draft, with numerous players from Florida or Florida schools working out regionally for all of the clubs.
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