Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is facing the likelihood that he'll be starting a redshirt freshman at quarterback for the second time in four years this fall, but he's not about to draw any other similarities between Deondre Francois and former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.
"I don't ever compare players," Fisher said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "It's unfair to compare Jameis. It's unfair to compare Deondre. I won't do it."
While expectations for the Seminoles are annually high regardless of who plays the quarterback position, one notable difference between the two is that Winston beat out all competition to earn the starting job as a redshirt freshman in 2013. Francois, however, has been thrust into the role due to an injury to projected starter Sean Maguire. The school announced over the weekend that Maguire requires surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot, and will be sidelined for four weeks.
Francois has been handling first-team practice reps as the Seminoles prepare for a Sept. 5 season opener against Ole Miss in Orlando.
Maguire is FSU's only quarterback with significant game experience. He completed 112 of 189 passes last year for 1,520 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. And given that Francois has yet to throw a college pass -- despite being one of the elite prospects in the country as a high school recruit -- he's not making any assumptions.
"I'll never say 'this is my offense' until Coach Fisher tells me 'this is my offense,'" Francois said. "I just continue to do what he tells me to do, and go out and practice hard every day."
If Maguire's projected return is correct, he could be available again for the Seminoles' third game of the season at Louisville Sept. 17.