Nebraska Football Freshman DB Jaiden Francois
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

4-Star Freshman DB Jaiden Francois Leaving Nebraska

August 18, 2020

Make that two defensive backs from the 2020 signing class to leave before playing a down at Nebraska.

Jaiden Francois, a 4-star defensive back from Homestead, Florida, has put his name in the transfer portal, a source confirmed to Hail Varsity. He joins Henry Gray as the other defensive back from the most recent signing class to leave the team. Francois tweeted the news Friday.

Francois (6-0, 185) was originally committed to Miami, but left the Canes’ class in October of last year after being committed for over a year before his senior season of high school ball. In fact, the October de-commitment was the third and final time he’d leave the Miami class. He was also part of the now-somewhat-infamous signing day ceremony where before announcing his pledge to Nebraska, he left a gathering in his school gym and held phone calls with Husker coaches. Reportedly, Francois had been told defensive backs coach Travis Fisher would soon be leaving Nebraska.

“I don’t want to say too much about details, but this process is tough on a lot of recruits,” head coach Scott Frost said during a press conference for the December signing period. “It’s tough on 18-year-olds. I think sometimes they have to sort out rumors and truths and falsehoods and in some situations that can go right up to signing day when they put their name on the paper. That’s just kind of how recruiting goes. I’m just glad Coach Fisher’s going to be with us for a long time.

“I actually talked to Jaiden when he was off stage and then texted with him a bunch after he came back out. He’s fired up. He’ll be on campus really soon as one of the early enrollees and I expect him to come in hungry and hopefully contribute right away.”

Francois held offers from Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State, and others, but picked up a Husker hat that day. He joined the team as a mid-year guy and took part in winter conditioning. He was there for the first two days of spring ball in March, before the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down and forced his return to Florida.

Though the room is a deep one with veterans at the top, Francois was a nice piece for Fisher to implement.

“The younger guys are not afraid of the older guys and the older guys are not afraid to compete,” Fisher said Thursday night during an appearance on the Husker Sports Nightly radio show. “It’s going to be an interesting camp. Those guys are all cool and they’re close. It’s probably one of the best groups I’ve had as far as being mature in the room and sticking together.”

Fisher, though, did not directly mention Francois during his run-through of the players in his room. Now we know why. The departure leaves the 2020 class with only two of the four signed defensive backs: Tamon Lynum and Ronald Delancy III. Of the 6-foot-2 Lynum, Fisher said he’s gained 26 pounds this offseason. Lynum was a summer arrival. Fisher also said Delancy was someone who “jumped in with both feet.”

At the top, Nebraska has a senior Dicaprio Bootle, a junior Cam Taylor-Britt, and a third-year sophomore Braxton Clark contending at cornerback, as well as seniors Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams at safety. Behind the two vets in the backend is expected to be redshirt freshmen Myles Farmer and Noa Pola-Gates, who Fisher said is ahead of schedule in his return from an injury that required mid-season surgery last fall.

Francois leaving does not, however, open up another scholarship for the Huskers to use this cycle. They still have just one remaining newcomer they can add to the roster this offseason.

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