TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced Wednesday that redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois is one of 10 players added to the midseason watch list. The Orlando, Fla., native has led the Seminoles to a 4-2 record through his first six starts, throwing for 1,557 yards and nine touchdowns while completing 63 percent of his passes.
In his first start, against No. 11 Ole Miss in the Camping World Kickoff in front of a national audience on Labor Day, Francois threw for 419 yards and ran for another 59 in leading the Noles to a come-from-behind 45-34 win. He was named the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week and the ACC Rookie and Offensive Back of the Week after becoming just the fifth FSU quarterback to throw for 200 yards in both halves of the same game.
Francois tallied his second ACC Rookie of the Week honor after again leading the Noles from behind to beat No. 10 Miami, 20-19, in Miami. Francois had 234 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, both coming in the third quarter as FSU rallied from a 13-0 deficit to win. In the third quarter, Francois was 10-of-11 for 144 yards, converting six of the seven first downs with his arm. In the fourth quarter, his first-down run effectively sealed the FSU win.
In addition to his 1,557 passing yards, Francois has 150 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a two-yard scramble against No. 23 North Carolina that gave the Seminoles its first lead of the game with 23 seconds left. His 35-yard touchdown run against USF late in the fourth quarter was the longest touchdown run for a Seminole quarterback since 2008.
Florida State became the fourth team since 2008 to have two wins over Top 11 teams away from home in the first six weeks of a season.
The 10 players added to the midseason watch list join the initial 30 on the preseason watch list. The Manning Award will be selected following the College Football National Championship game on January 11.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
After announcing 30 quarterbacks to watch during the preseason, the Manning Award opted to increase its focus players based on the many outstanding performances during the first half of the year. While these players have been added to the Watch List, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible to win the honor.
Ten finalists will be determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings. That list will be released on Wednesday, December 2 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, January 11.