Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois is being investigated by Tallahassee police after his girlfriend accused him of domestic violence early Wednesday morning. Francois, meanwhile, claims that the woman was the aggressor.
According to a Tallahassee Police Department report, Francois and his live-in girlfriend gave radically different accounts of what transpired in the off-campus apartment they have shared for the past few months. Francois’s girlfriend, who told police that she is nine weeks pregnant, claims that Francois became angry, broke down a door, picked her up and threw her down, causing her to cut her forearm. Francois, who called police to report that the woman was “breaking things and tearing up his room,” claims the woman started the argument and cut her forearm while breaking a vase. He told police that she locked herself in his room and began destroying property. He claims he picked her up when she attempted to pull a television off the wall. Florida State running back Zaquandre White, who was with Francois at the time, provided a written statement to police backing up his teammate’s version of the story.
“Based on the conflicting statements and lack of independent witnesses, I was unable to establish probable cause to make the arrest for battery,” officer Tri Dinh wrote in the report.
Dinh also wrote that the woman did not want to pursue charges. “She advised me that she did not want Francois to get into ‘trouble trouble’ but she did want me to speak with him to ‘scare him a little,’” Dinh wrote. “[The woman] then asked if Francois would get in trouble if he ‘smoked weed.’ [The woman] advised Francois had ‘smoked the weed earlier.’” Marijuana is not referenced anywhere else in the report.
Francois missed most of last season after he injured the patella tendon in his left knee in the fourth quarter of the season opener against Alabama. He was expected to compete with rising sophomore James Blackman to regain the starting job in the first spring practice under new Seminoles coach Willie Taggart. Francois started every game for the Seminoles as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Florida State went 10–3 and Francois was named the ACC Rookie of the Year.
Florida State has lost two scholarship quarterbacks in the past three years because of off-the-field issues. De’Andre Johnson was dismissed in July 2015 after he punched a woman in a bar. Malik Henry spent part of his only season in Tallahassee suspended and left the program in December 2016.
The Seminoles have three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in addition to Francois. Blackman started 12 games last season and completed 173 of 297 passes for 2,230 yards with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Rising senior J.J. Cosentino served as Blackman’s backup last year, but he also was passed over by Blackman, who had only been on campus a few months before being thrust into a starting role. Bailey Hockman, a 6’2″, 203-pounder from Powder Springs, Ga., also came with Blackman in the 2017 recruiting class and redshirted last year. Florida State didn’t sign a quarterback during the December signing period, but Taggart made a late run at Franklin, Ga., quarterback Emory Jones, who decommitted from Ohio State and signed with Florida on Dec. 20.