Police suspected FSU QB Deondre Francois of intent to sell marijuana prior to search
Francois is in a battle to be the starting quarterback for first-year coach Willie Taggart
Update (Tuesday, April 17): The specifics surrounding Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois' citation for marijuana possession earlier this month are nothing short of bizarre. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Tallahassee Police received an anonymous tip that Francois had approximately two pounds of marijuana in his residence, and executed a search warrant on April 12 with the expectation to find what the report terms as "on-going criminal activity" that was consistent with individuals who have the intent to sell.
Original Story (Friday, April 13): Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois was cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana on last week, and did not participate in the Seminoles final practice before Saturday's spring game, according to a report from the Tallahassee Democrat. The redshirt junior signal-caller was charged with possession of less than 20 grams, and will be placed in a diversion program. He will not have to appear in court as a result of the incident.
"We are aware of the situation and it is being handled internally," first-year coach Willie Taggart said, according to the report.
While the end result of the case isn't surprising, the events leading up to it are.
In separate report from the Tallahassee Democrat, Francois was surveilled by Tallahassee Police for two months, and police seized several items from Francois' home that they believed were related to narcotics activity. Four times over the two-month span, items were seized from his home that ranged from marijuana, paraphernalia and an iPad.
It's another wrinkle in Florida State's three-man battle for the top spot on the depth chart in Taggart's up-tempo, spread, power rushing offense.
Francois was fantastic as a redshirt freshman in 2016, throwing for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns, and rushing for 196 yards and five more scores behind an offensive line that was a massive liability for the Seminoles. Despite that, Francois helped lead the team to an Orange Bowl win over Michigan.
He was expected to be a big part of a national championship-caliber squad last season under former coach Jimbo Fisher, but a torn patellar tendon late in the season-opening loss to Alabama ended his season and derailed Fisher's final year with the program. Because of the injury and Francois' limited participation in spring practice while rehabilitating, he wasn't expected to see action in the spring game on Saturday.
Despite not being forced to appear in court and the case being closed, the incident probably won't help his case to regain his position as the starting quarterback. Francois is currently fighting sophomore James Blackman and redshirt freshman Bailey Hockman for the job. Blackman threw for 2,230 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last year in place of Francois. Hockman was a four-star prospect in the class of 2017.
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