Florida State dismisses QB Deondre Francois after disturbing video surfaces

·4 min read

Deondre Francois’ time at Florida State has come to an end.

The school announced Sunday that Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart has dismissed the quarterback from FSU’s football program. In a statement, Taggart said he informed Francois of the decision on Saturday night.

“Last night, I informed Deondre Francois that he is no longer a member of the Florida State football program,” Taggart’s statement read. “As we build a new culture and foundation for FSU Football, we have high expectations for all of our student-athletes and we will not shy away from those high standards of conduct. We are moving forward as a program.”

The news comes a day after Francois’ girlfriend posted a video to her Instagram account that featured audio of a man and a woman fighting. In the video, the man threatens to assault the woman and hit her in the face.

Deondre Francois (12) was dismissed from the Florida State program on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Deondre Francois (12) was dismissed from the Florida State program on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

The caption of the video, which has since been deleted, said a “domestic situation” between the two has been going on for two years.

“I thought I loved him and thought he would change for the better but it has gotten worse. I lost my first child because of all of the beating and I suffer from postpartum depression,” the caption read. “This situation is taking a toll on my life. Yes, I stayed after that because I was stupid and blinded by love. This isn’t love. You are a coward and this isn’t right.”

The post tagged Francois’ Instagram account, which has since been deleted.

Deondre Francois has faced legal trouble in the past

Francois had a few run-ins with Tallahassee police during his time at Florida State, including an investigation into domestic violence.

In January 2018, police responded to an incident at an apartment complex involving Francois and a woman who said she was pregnant with Francois’ child. After an argument, the woman said Francois broke down the door to her bedroom, picked her up and threw her to the ground and tried to remove her from the house. When speaking with police, she said she did not want to press charges.

Francois said the woman, who he identified as his girlfriend, brought up an old argument and began breaking things in his apartment. He said he tried to pick her up by wrapping his arms around her “like a hug” to stop her from causing damage and to remove her from the house.

Due to the conflicting statements and a lack of witnesses, no arrests were made and the case was closed.

In April 2018, police believed Francois was selling marijuana and obtained a search warrant for his apartment. Francois was given a citation but was not charged.

Francois started for Florida State in 2016 and 2018

Francois was Florida State’s starting quarterback for most of the 2018 season, throwing for 2,731 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He was set to be a senior for the Seminoles in 2019.

Francois emerged as the team’s starting quarterback in 2016 and threw for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns. After suffering a knee injury in the opener against Alabama, he missed almost all of the 2017 season due to a knee injury.

There was speculation throughout the offseason about Francois’ status at Florida State, including rumors he could pursue a graduate transfer. In January, Francois announced he would stay at FSU for the 2019 season.

Now, that will no longer be the case.

FSU currently has one eligible scholarship QB for 2019

With Francois out of the picture, James Blackman becomes the favorite to be Taggart’s starting QB. Blackman and Louisville transfer Jordan Travis, who is ineligible to play in 2019, are the only two scholarship quarterbacks remaining on the FSU roster.

FSU does not have a quarterback committed in its 2019 recruiting class with signing day approaching on Wednesday. According to Rivals.com, FSU is pursuing Lance Legendre, a four-star recruit from New Orleans, and John Plumlee, a three-star recruit from Mississippi. Legendre is expected to choose between FSU and Maryland. Plumlee is committed to Georgia, but the UGA staff has asked him to blueshirt. Ole Miss is considered FSU’s main competition to land Plumlee’s signature.

Blackman started in 2017 when Francois was injured and threw for 2,230 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The two competed to start ahead of the 2018 season, Taggart’s first as FSU’s head coach, but Francois won the job.

Florida State went 5-7 in 2018, its first losing record since 1976. FSU also missed a bowl game for the first time since 1981.

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