Photo of Robert Francois
Robert Francois (OLB)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 244
Conference: ACC
Hometown: Highlands, TX
High School: Governor Dummer Acad. (MA)
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Fellow senior linebacker Brian Toal developed into a bit of a campus icon with his instinctive, physical play at linebacker and fullback throughout his career, but it is Francois, who began the 2008 season as Toal's backup, who scouts will be considering with the higher draft selection come April. He started only seven games prior to his senior campaign, but many close to the BC program were characterizing Francois as a potential breakout candidate. With Toal going down to injury, Francois indeed did break out, matching his previous career total with seven starts in 2008 and producing career highs in tackles (82), tackles for loss (nine) and sacks (two). An impressive week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game could have cemented his status as a second-day prospect.

High School

Earned All-Northeast accolades from Tom Lemming ... Gained All-New England honors as a senior tight end/safety at Governor Dummer Academy ... Was a two-time All-Independent League first-team selection ... gained Team MVP honors in 2003 ... Served as 2003 team captain for head coach Mark Gerry ... Played in the 2004 Massachusetts Shriners Football Classic ... Also excelled on the Governors' basketball and track teams; won the New England Class C 100-meter title in 2003 ... Attended Ross Sterling High School in Baytown, Texas before moving on to GDA.

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Positives: Legitimate NFL frame, stout build with good overall musculature. ... Physical, no-nonsense linebacker that takes on discards blocks well. ... Can slip blocks with good hand strength and lateral quickness. ... Squares up and delivers a blow to the ballcarrier. ... Good effort in pursuit. ... Surprisingly agile for a player his size. ... Gives good pop to tight ends and can ride in coverage. ... Gets good depth on his drops and is alert in coverage. ... A standout special teamer recognized by the BC staff as the special teams player of the year. ... Might be an ascending player...

Negatives: Leaves with only 14 career starts. ... Pressed into duty in 2006 and '08 only by an injury to teammate Brian Toal. ... Rarely asked to blitz in this scheme and has only marginal agility to evade blocks. ... Marginal hand technique as a pass rusher. ... Relies on his initial pop and a bull rush to get to the quarterback. ... Lacks the lateral agility to keep up with running backs and athletic tight ends. ... Performance might have been inflated due to the surrounding talent at defensive tackle and linebacker.

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