Florida State redshirt sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois left the No. 3 Seminoles’ loss against No. 1 Alabama in the fourth quarter with a lower-body injury. The Tallahassee Democrat reported Sunday that Francois has “a season-ending patella tendon injury in his left knee” and could have surgery as soon as Tuesday. On Monday, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed the report of the injury.
Fisher confirms that Deondre Francois tore his patella tendon, will have surgery tomorrow. James Blackman is QB1.— Tomahawk Nation (@Tomahawknation) September 4, 2017
4-7 month recovery for Francois is what Fisher was told.— Tomahawk Nation (@Tomahawknation) September 4, 2017
Because the injury occurred in the first game, Francois is in line for a medical redshirt, though another NCAA rule casts doubt on whether he’d be able to get an extra season.
Francois was brought hard to the ground by Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison, who sacked him for a loss of six yards. Harrison rolled up on Francois’ leg from behind him, replays showed. Francois walked off the field with the help of FSU medical staff, and he went into a treatment tent on the FSU sideline. He later walked with the aid of crutches to a medical cart, with a large brace on his left leg.
When Francois exited, Alabama had a 24-7 lead and the game well in hand. The Tide would go on to win by the same score. James Blackman made a brief appearances in relief of Francois while the final moments ticked off the clock. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher didn’t comment on Francois’ injury in detail after the game.
Francois was 19 of 33 passing for 210 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions before he left the game. He was fine, though he wasn’t great against America’s best defense.
Francois’ absence is a huge problem for Florida State. The Noles did not beat Alabama, but they remain a favorite in the ACC, and Francois is one of their most critical players. His loss could be devastating.
Blackman, a four-star quarterback on Rivals and 247 and a three-star on ESPN and Scout, grades out as a three-star QB on 247Sports’ composite rankings. He rates as the No. 391 overall prospect, the No. 18 pro-style quarterback, and the No. 51 player from Florida in the 2017 recruiting class.
His 6’5 frame is ideal for the quarterback position and something that current starter Deondre Francois lacks. However, his most recent recorded weight of 195 pounds is far too low and will surely be an early goal of the training staff once he arrives on campus.
Blackman, hailing from Bella Glade (Fla.) Glades Central, earned his Florida State offer after he impressed the coaching staff at a Jimbo Fisher Camp session last July. A few weeks later on August 3rd of 2016, Blackman announced his commitment to FSU. He made no visits to Tallahassee over the 2016 season and was rumored to be in talks for a potential visit to West Virginia before an in-home visit from co-offensive coordinators Randy Sanders and Lawrence Dawsey caused Blackman to shut down his recruitment and stand by his pledge to FSU on January 16th, just days after his official visit to Florida State concluded.