TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Rickards football team is off to a good start, 2-0 with a lot of confidence. That swag comes from enduring a rough couple of years, but the senior class is using them as motivation.
Rickards' De'Andre Francis is this week's ABC 27 Scholar-Athlete of the Week.
De'Andre Francis has been making plays for the Rickards football team for the past three seasons.
"He's one of our guys that we can just say, 'Hey man, we need this to happen for us tonight and you have to make it happen for us,'" said Quintin Lewis, the head football coach at Rickards. "He does a great job of that."
Francis is a guy who does it all.
"As a senior, we only have a few games left so it's big because it's almost over," Francis said. "I have to give it my all."
He's taking it in a little bit more in his final season.
"My last few years on Varsity have been a rough season," said Francis. "Talked to the seniors, and told each other we were going to be a better senior class as a whole and come together as a group."
"We kind of wait until the last minute to see if we're even going to play a game," Lewis said. "It's not for certain so let's take advantage of every opportunity you have, every moment you have to play the game of football and enjoy it."
Francis is doing just that and he's made the most of every opportunity in the classroom, earning a 3.9 GPA.
"He's one of our superstars so all my younger guys look up to him and he shows them what a student-athlete really is, how you focus on the education aspect of it and then be able to excel on the football field," said Lewis.
"I'm a student-athlete first so it's always the books before the field," Francis said. "I know I'm a good athlete on the field. If I dominate in the classroom, it balances out itself."
Francis is dominating in the classroom and on the field.
"Winning this year means a lot more attention on us," said Francis.
It is attention they deserve after all their work to get to this point.
Francis said he wants to play football at the next level but at a college that has his major, marine biology.