Deondre Francois had a tough decision to make. He knew the right thing to do was to leave central Florida and Olympia High School. But it was also going to be difficult for this talented signal caller to leave his family. In the end, he couldn't pass on the opportunity to come to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy.
"The transition was tough, especially early," Francois said. "School here is hard and I was away on my own for the first time. I missed my family. It's tough being away. I'm still young. But I had to get out of there. Coming here was the best decision for me."
Francois, 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, is an ultra-talented four-star quarterback. This kid can run it and he can throw it. Now, Francois has the unique opportunity to be groomed by one of the best quarterback teachers in the business in IMG Academy coach Chris Weinke.
"In the short time I have been here I have gotten better," Francois said. "I don't think I have many flaws but I do need to tighten up my game and put it all together. Coach Weinke has been fantastic and working with me on so many things like ball placement, arc on my throws and just playing smarter. He really works with you on the mental part of the game. For him, that's so important.
"I came here to get ready. We have an NFL playbook. I am on my own. It was so hard at first but now I feel a lot more comfortable."
Spring ball is winding down for Francois. IMG will close things out with a scrimmage on Thursday. Then, he will have a busy summer visiting a handful of schools and taking part in the Opening out in Oregon.
"I may go and visit schools like Tennessee, Ohio State and Auburn," Francois said. "Those are the places I want to go. I will visit Oregon when I go out to the Opening. I probably won't go back to FSU and Florida because I have been to each [school] a few times."
Right now, Francois has a few schools at the top and a possible decision date.
"Florida State, Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee and Auburn are my favorites," Francois said. "I would love to commit this summer, maybe even at the Opening. But that will all depend on how well my visits go this summer."