UPDATE 6:30pm: Francois has tweeted that he was hacked. Read the rest of the story to get a sense of the state of chaos he caused over the past two and a half hours. He may still flip to Florida on National Signing Day- multiple people who are closer to him than I am have indicated to me that he will do so- but as of right now, he’s a Nole.
In one of the most fascinating developments in a recruiting season filled with them, prized QB recruit Deondre Francois has decommitted from FSU. Or so it seems.
Francois tweeted out his decommitment around 4pm, and then immediately deleted the tweet. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for him, someone grabbed a screenshot of his tweet and sent it to me.
But where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and there has been some smoke about Francois potentially flipping from FSU to Florida for quite some time now, even despite Francois recently shooting down rumors of a potential flip. And the tweet came at an interesting time; Florida OC Doug Nussmeier met with Francois earlier today. Sounds like there are dots to be connected here, and over the past hour or so, I’ve heard from three separate people that Francois would eventually decommit; the most prominent of whom is the offensive line coach at IMG Academy, where Francois trains/is a high school student.
There are several different potential theories as to what really happened with Francois. He could have mean friends who stole his phone and tweeted that out; he could have been saving that tweet as a draft for closer to Signing Day and accidentally published it; he could have simply tweeted it out and then had a change of heart about the timing of his decommitment (of course it was too late, but that fact is apparently unbeknownst to him). But honestly, it’s not important. Francois has supposedly decommitted from FSU. That’s what’s important.
Or maybe he hasn’t, and everybody’s sources who claim he has- mine included- are wrong.
Chris Weinke, the head coach at IMG Academy and proud Seminole, refuted that statement by his offensive line coach… right around the same time he allegedly met with Francois in private. I almost hate to say this, but this reeks of a desperate FSU alum trying to continue his pipeline to his alma mater. And because I’ve always maintained that these decisions are the kids to make, I don’t appreciate that:
Chris Weinke really oughta let Deondre Francois make his own decision. I wouldn't want to play behind a line that only blocks itself, either
— InAllKindsOfWeather.com (@AllKindsWeather) January 29, 2015
But whatever the reason, it’s possible that Weinke may be right about Francois not really decommitting. Of course Weinke may have immediately talked with him and changed his mind… but that would still qualify as Weinke being correct. And Weinke was backed up by FSU running back commit Jacques Patrick saying that Francois’s twitter had been hacked, which made me throw my hands up. Half the people who claim knowledge on this story say Francois really did decommit, and the other half say he didn’t.
But here’s the thing that sticks out to me. Patrick just tweeted that talked to Francois. So it’s not a reach to say that Francois has had his phone on him nonstop since the tweet was sent, right? And if he did have his phone on him the whole time- why didn’t he tweet out that he was hacked? Why didn’t he put out some kind of statement- any kind of of statement- addressing the tweet? I don’t know what this means exactly, but something just smells fishy about that.
Sp we’ll have to play the “wait and see” game, as much as people hate doing that- because it’s the only option we have to solve a complicated and frustrating recruiting mystery. We all have theories about what’s happened, and I’ve heard a couple different theories from different people that sound good for Florida- but they’re just theories. So hang on, and keep checking for updates.