That’s no longer the case.
Jean-Mary, in the Orlando area recruiting for the Cardinals, hustled out to Orlando Olympia to check on Francois, and he eventually offered the 6-foot, 190-pound rising junior.
“I’m happy about it and it gives me even more motivation to do better and makes me even more hungry,” Francois said. “He said they were surprised. They thought I had like 30 offers and so he said, 'Don’t forget we’re the first ones to offer you.' ”
Francois is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in the state for the Class of 2015, along with Florida State commit DeAndre Johnson of Jacksonville First Coast and Orlando Lake Nona’s Tucker Israel.
Despite missing three games last season, Francois still threw for 1,789 yards in his first season as the Olympia starter. He had 15 touchdowns on 151-of-261 passing (58 percent).
Francois said Jean-Mary rattled off a whole menu of things the Cardinals’ coaching staff likes about the smooth, big-armed sophomore.
“They said they like my quick release, strong arm, my footwork and how the ball spins off my finger-tips,” Francois relayed. “They also said they like my leadership at practice and how I’m always getting with the O-line. They like my 7-on-7 skills, my speed when I'm running the ball, and he said my form and mechanics were similar to, if not better than,
Teddy Bridgewater at this age.”
Ahh yes, music to the ears of any young quarterback. For a Louisville coach to make a comparison to Bridgewater, a player who some have already touted as a contender in this year’s
Heisman Trophy chase, it makes a player take notice.
“I love the way Teddy Bridgewater plays and the way he throws the ball. I’m excited about that,” Francois said of the comparison. “Coach [Jean-Mary] told me on the phone that they look forward to working with me and if I go there that they have great things planned and that they see signs of greatness in me and said I can lead them to championships and bowl games and stuff like that.”
It was certainly baffling as to why Francois still had no offers, yet sometimes it takes colleges a while to pull the trigger on quarterbacks.
“I was waiting for it but at the same time I wasn’t worried about it because I knew good things would come with me being patient,” Francois said. “Now that I have that first offer, it takes the weight off my shoulders, but I want more.
“I’m not all worried about it, but I’m still hungry. Now that I do have that first one though, it will let me focus on other things like school and family and getting better.”
And he won't forget Louisville was there first.
“It’s going to mean a lot because they were the first one,” Francois said. “A lot of people tell me I’m good and all that and it was kind of weird that I would see other sophomores be offered and I’m like not sure what’s going on, but I just stayed humble and not worried about it.
“But it does really mean a lot that my first offer came from Louisville.”