January 18, 2008

Troy commit to play in all-star game Sunday

While the players of Troy's upcoming recruiting class are hitting the weight room, one member gets to hit the field one more time as a prep star.

Calvin Francois, a 6-feet-6, 275-pound defensive lineman will play in the Dade-Broward All-Star Game Saturday. The game will be played at Florida Atlantic's Sunday.

"It's a real big game, a lot of people are going to show up," the Hollywood Hills star said. "All the hype is about Dade whipping us which I don't this is going to be true. Dade is going to end up laying down."

Francois helped the Spartans to a 7-4 record this season, despite missing two games due to illness. The illness also forced him to miss four weeks of school, but his grades did not suffer.

"My academics are fine, I am making my work from having to miss school," Francois said. "I missed two weeks with a boil on my neck and then I had to miss another two weeks with cellulitis. They thought I had MRSA."

MSRA -- methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus -- is a staph bacteria that does not respond to most antibiotics. But after treatment, Francois is showing no ill effects from the illess.

For the moment, the only thing on Francois' mind is the all-star game where he will share the field with Hollywood Hills teammate Alex Pattee. But the two should meet on the Lockhart Stadium field again. Pattee, a linebacker, has decided to play at Sun Belt rival FAU.

But for Francois, the choice of a college came quickly.

"I committed a little after the season," Francois said. "My visit was on Dec. 8."

He also had offers from Eastern Kentucky and Arkansas State.

Francois chose Troy for more than its reputation as an athletic program, however. Academics played a major role in his decision.

"The reason I chose Troy was they graduate over 80 percent of their African-American players," Francois said. "They showed a lot of interest in me."

Francois was recruited to Troy by Chad Scott.

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