Jaiden Francois Has Big Day at the Opening, Talks Recommitting to Miami

Jaiden Francois Has Big Day at the Opening, Talks Recommitting to Miami

Cory Grimes
South Dade’s Jaiden Francois tied a Dade County record with 12 INT’s in his junior campaign and nothing has changed since the end of the season. He came out to the Opening on Sunday and with 3 picks during the 1-on-1 session, he was undoubtedly the most dominant force among the DB group, and arguably the best player on the field regardless of position. The ball-hawk has recently recommitted to Miami since Manny Diaz was named head coach. I chatted with Jaiden about his experience at the Opening and his decision to get back on board with the Hurricanes.

3 picks today in 1-on-1 drills: how did you feel about your overall performance?

"I think I did good, but I could have done better. Couple of blown coverages. It's just the little things I got to work on."

What are those specific things you want to work on?

"Just my speed turns, breaking downhill and getting faster. Just technical stuff."

What’s your least favorite part of these camps?

"I really like all of it. But I just don’t like that the QB doesn’t have a pass rush, so they got all the time in the world to throw the ball. 1 on 1’s basically just meant for the receivers to get open, so us DB’s just got to come and make a play. That’s it."

(Note: Francois said his toughest match-up on Sunday was Carol City’s Thaiu Jones-Bell. Jones-Bell got the better of him on one rep during 1-on-1s, but I am sure Francois is eager to redeem himself in that match-up at a later time.)

As far as the recommitment to Miami, what were the factors that made you decide to get back on board?

“Just being around the family environment. It felt great to be back. I just didn’t want to miss out on it again.”

What would you say is the biggest difference you have seen since Manny Diaz took over the head coaching job?

"Manny Diaz has everything down pat. I like everything he’s doing. He changed the whole program around, so I just want to be there to see it and be apart of it."

So are you locked in? Any more visits? What’s the deal?

"Yeah, I am going to take some other visits, but I am 100% locked in."

Francois is criminally underrated by the recruiting sites. Probably because he doesn’t have insane measurables or eye-popping testing numbers, but who cares. There are plenty of great DB’s out there who are awesome cover guys, great athletes and technically sound, and then there are the rare group of DB’s that can change the course of the game on any given play. Francois is the latter. He does things you can’t teach.

The ball skills and the instincts go without saying. However, the thing that always gets me when I see Francois in these camp settings is how comfortable and effective he is in man to man coverage. He never panics and has great closing speed. He also really seems to understand route recognition and what receivers are trying to do on any given route. He often times ends up running the route better than the receiver. Francois is just hard for a receiver to get rid of. He could line up at any position in the secondary and be incredibly successful.

This guy is as pure a defensive back as I have come across in the past couple years. It’s just natural for him. Francois has got to be on the short list as the top player in Dade County going into next season. Francois would be a excellent fit in a Miami defense that prides themselves on turnovers. Assuming his commitment holds strong, which I personally believe it will this time around, Manny Diaz and Blake Baker have a game changing talent coming to Coral Gables next year.


Comments (31)

Wtf, I got locked up, and 100% didn’t take any visits. Ridiculous talent, despite that it’s CANE IN,CANE OUT100% We’re Good for You.🙌🏿
Reminds me a little of Mr Ed Reed with the way he turns the game. Not just gets pick but scores the points too.
Nailed it Chise , once on campus with pockets pulled out with droopy faces and a recommit to Miami BOOOM .Los Vegas

The anti is raised and auction begins, Chise knows this is a business VENTAS NEGOCIOS ( sales , business).

Las Vegas ? He’s playing in the pylon tournament that Miami immortals 7 on 7 team play in every year which is in vegas...
Glad he is on board. For those that have seen him play, does he project at S or CB? Could he play both effectively? Recovery speed for CB?