The recruiting journey of Deondre Francois has featured dramatic developments during the past few days, setting the stage for a climactic final stretch. The 4-star quarterback recently unveiled a top six, per Jason Dill of the Bradenton Herald, but it didn't take long for him to trim his choices down even further.
The coveted Florida playmaker has eliminated Ohio State, Tennessee and Notre Dame from contention, per his conversation with Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports (subscription required). Francois effectively cut his options in half, leaving Oregon, Auburn and Florida State in the mix.
He spent time at Auburn this week and was slated to follow up with visits to Tennessee and Ohio State in coming days. Those plans changed after his stay with the Tigers:
Francois was frank when describing his reasoning for the cancellations.
"I felt like there was no need for me to go to Tennessee or Ohio State," Francois told Niebuhr. "I've narrowed my schools down to Oregon, Auburn and Florida State. So I don't want to go to Ohio State and Tennessee and waste gas."
It may sound blunt for fans of the Buckeyes and Volunteers, but at least he isn't stringing both squads along while other quarterback options remain available.
Francois, rated No. 6 nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings, is a swiftly rising member of the 2015 class. Mississippi, LSU and Michigan are among his recent offers, though they failed to make the cut.
He transferred to IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) from Orlando's Olympia High School this year. Francois replaces 2014 Penn State signee Michael O'Connor as the team's starting quarterback.
His two seasons as starter at Olympia featured 3,162 passing yards and 28 touchdowns, according to Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel. Francois will play with a more talented supporting cast at IMG Academy, a program that perennially produces collegiate talent.
Francois is recognized as one of the hardest-throwing quarterbacks in the 2015 class. His accuracy remains questionable but the raw talent is clearly in place, along with an ability to create opportunities as a runner.
Florida State is viewed as a prohibitive favorite for Francois, who expects to announce his decision by the end of July. The Seminoles are projected to sign him in 95 percent of expert predictions in 247Sports' Crystal Ball.
Auburn is a formidable contender after his successful two-day stay on campus. The Tigers already hold a commitment from Georgia quarterback Tyler Queen but continue to explore other options, including Francois and fellow Florida talent Torrance Gibson.
Oregon extended an offer in April. Expect the Ducks, who recently missed on Barnett (Alabama) and Kyler Murray (Texas A&M), to key in on Francois as a pivotal target.
Recruit ratings and information courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.
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