Three-star defensive end Giovani Francois out of Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise took his first official visit this past weekend. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder headed to south Florida to see Florida International.
"It was great, I was going to head to Cincinnati, but I flipped the dates," he said. "I had a great time down there, seeing the team and campus. The coaches really want me and the whole coaching staff is exciteda bout me. It's a place I felt at home."
Clearly the lineman enjoyed the trip, what stood out?
"I've been in Maryland for the past month and to be down in Miami where it's 75 or 80 degrees, the warm weather was definitely nice," he stated. "It was cool to chill on South Beach, the weight room there is brand new and the locker room is definitely new. They have only been around for six years and already won the Sun Belt and a bowl game. They are an up and coming program, instead of being a number, I could go to FIU and make a difference, leave a legacy there as a player."
Francois got time with the coaches including head coach Mario Cristobal.
"I spoke to the defensive line coach a lot," he said. "He talked about the position and about what number I'd wear. I talked to the defensive coordinator, he was really fired up. Then, I talked to coach Cristobal. Usually the head coach you don't really see, I went to Florida and saw Urban Meyer once. He was a coach I could relate to, kind of like Rex Ryan. I want to play for him."
Following the visit, Florida International has the lead for Francois.
"They are No. 1," he said. "It was just top notch, it's a special place down there and my visit to Miami was beautiful. They are one of the fastest rising teams in the country from 3-9 to winning a bowl this year. They could be a BCS buster type."
Francois plans to head to Cincinnati this weekend.
"I can't wait to get up there," he said. "I've never been to Ohio. They are in a top notch conference and I want to see the campus and meet the coaches."
That trip will be followed by a visit on January 21st to Temple.
"I have an offer from Temple," he said. "I got it about a week ago. Coach Addazio, the old offensive coordinator at Florida offered me. He told me he believes Florida should have offered me and he gladly wants me to play for him at Temple. He had seen me at camps over the summer and sees that I can rush the passer and stop the run. He thinks I can be an impact player at Temple and play on Sundays."