Deondre Francois, who passed for 2,522 yards and 26 touchdowns in his one season for Hampton University, will not try for an extra year of eligibility and has accepted an invitation to play in the Hula Bowl on Jan. 26.
Francois came to HU after playing two seasons in four years at Florida State. In 25 games as a Seminole, he threw for 6,291 yards and 36 touchdowns — ninth and 14th, respectively, in school history.
Because he redshirted in 2015 and missed the ’17 season with a leg injury, Francois could have asked the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. Instead, he has entered the NFL draft pool.
“I want to be a professional,” he said.
The invitation from the Hula Bowl came after Francois’ performance in the College Gridiron Showcase last weekend in Texas.
“That was a great opportunity,” he said. “I got to be around a lot of great players and got to compete.
"I talked to a lot of teams and then I ended up hearing from the Hula Bowl. I’m very blessed to get the opportunity to play in the Hula Bowl.”
Francois set an HU season record with 26 touchdown passes and 205 completions.
“Being at Hampton, we had good coaches and a lot of good players,” Francois said. “We had a young team and went through a lot of growing pains, but I feel I left Hampton better than when I came in.”
The Hula Bowl, to be played in Honolulu and televised by CBS Sports Network, is returning after a 12-year hiatus. It will include collegians from all divisions, as well as international players.
The head coaches will be Rex Ryan and Mike Smith, both former NFL coaches.
Hampton quarterback Deondre Francois (3) escapes a tackle from Presbyterians Jeffrey Smyth (17) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 in Hampton, Va. (Mike Caudill/The Virginian-Pilot via AP) (Mike Caudill / AP)