football

Johnson to Francois: Youll be on the bench

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Florida State commit De'Andre Johnson offered strong opinions when it came to potential teammate Deondre Francois.
"I don't think he will come in, honestly," said Johnson, a rising senior quarterback from Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast who committed to the Seminoles in July of 2012. "That guy don't want to see me another four years, I'm telling you. He doesn't want to compete with me day-in and day-out, because there's no way possible he'd beat me out. You can be a camp guy and you can be a game guy. I'm a game guy.
"If he does come in, good luck to him - he'll be on the bench."
Francois, who will be a senior at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, will announce his decision on Thursday and has narrowed his choices to Auburn, Florida State and Oregon though it's widely thought to be a two-school race excluding the Ducks.
If Francois does choose Florida State, he may not get the warmest welcoming from Johnson.
"It's my turf," Johnson said. "Every time I see him, I joke around with him. I'm like, 'dang man, you tryin' to be like me everywhere I go, huh? You got the same name, you play quarterback, you tryin' to come to Florida State. I see him at camp and I'm the only one with my helmet off. Then, he takes his helmet off to try and be like me and I'm like, 'Yo, Francois - you not me, man! You can't do what I do.'"
When Johnson committed, the Seminoles were coming off a 9-4 season capped with a Champs Sports Bowl victory, Jameis Winston was just stepping onto campus as a redshirt freshman, and E.J. Manuel was the quarterback. Now that the Seminoles are defending national champions and Winston the reigning Heisman winner, Tallahassee is in the spotlight.
Johnson believes that's what's drawing Francois to Florida State more than the program itself.
"The thing about Francois, man, is he's just a guy that wants the publicity that comes with Florida State," Johnson said. "Florida State is a major program and with that comes a lot of hype."
Regardless of any potential intra-squad rivalry between Johnson and Francois, Johnson realizes that 1) he may have to wait two more seasons behind Winston, and 2) when there does come an opening at quarterback, he'll have to compete for it.
"All odds are that Jameis will leave (after the season)," Johnson said of Winston, whom he calls a close friend and mentor. "I've prepared for Plan A and Plan B. If he stays, then I'll battle for second or third string. If he leaves, then it's a wide-open battle. We'll take another quarterback this year and it will be an open battle between him, myself, (J.J. Cosentino) and (Sean Maguire)."
Since committing more than two years ago, Johnson has been working hard to best position himself to win the starting job. He's been taking extra courses to graduate early in December, working on his ACT score and "staying out of trouble and doing the right things so I can get there early."
"I'll get about four months in before everybody else gets there, so I'll get acclimated real quick, build my body up and learn early, which for a quarterback is ideal."
Johnson is already in touch with the coaching staff on a regular basis, going over base plays to learn as much of the offense as early as possible. In addition, his relationship with Winston will only ease his transition from high school to college.
"He's been my mentor since my freshman year of high school," Johnson said. "He took me under his wing just like E.J. did him and we've been cool ever since."
Adam Krohn is a Southeast Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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