Friday, July 6, 2007
2007 Recruiting - Stefoin Francois
This is Stefoin Francois, 6'0" 188#, safety from Reserve High School in Reserve, LA. He runs a 4.5 second 40 with a vertical of 30 inches. He committed to LSU late in the process, but was always considered to be very high on LSU. There seemed to be little chance that he would not sign with LSU.
And let me just say that He. Looks. Great. He played at the Army All-America Game back in January, which is a high school All-Star game that gets players from all over the country. Lots of 5-star, 4-star, and 3-star players were there, including bright stars Joe McKnight, Jimmy Clauson, Noel Devine, and future LSU-signees Terrance Tolliver, Ron Brooks, and Joseph Barksdale and many others.
Even among that exceptional talent, Stefoin really stood out as having a terrific game. He hit hard, tackled well, and showed a lot of speed at the safety position. At the time, there were other recruits out there looking at LSU that people were very excited about, such as Joe McKnight, Chad Jones, and Terrance Tolliver, and Stefoin had kind of gotten a little lost in the shuffle. Casual observers just weren't particularly excited about him, and some people even questioned whether or not we had room for him in the class.
That changed at the Army All-America Game. Once the fans saw him in action though, there was no more question about whether there was room for Francois. He just looked too good. At a game where it's hard to stand out because no one gets a lot of playing time, he really looked good. That's why I think he'll be one of the 3 defensive backs from this class who eventually start for LSU, along with Chad Jones and Phelon Jones.
Stefoin is a free safety. It really took me a while to understand the difference between the free safety and the strong safety, until I simply started looking at it like this: the free safety is a combination corner/safety while the strong safety is a combination safety/linebacker. The free safety has bigger coverage responsibilities, so needs more speed and cover abilities, and the strong safety has bigger run-support responsibilities, so needs to be bigger and a good tackler. Both safeties have responsibilities in all phases however, so both must have speed and cover skills and both must have size and tackling ability.
The only weakness I see in him is that his listed size is a little small for a free safety. He'll need to put on about 10 or 15 pounds or so, but I'm not concerned. This kid will be a very good player. I'm guessing he'll be on special teams immediately, but don't count him out of earning his way into the lineup as a nickel or dime defensive back as the season presses on.