baltimoresun.com

« Football commitment game recaps | Main | Something new for Terps fans »

November 6, 2007

UM commit Francis improved each week

A.J. Francis saved his best for last.

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound defensive lineman from Gonzaga (D.C.) College recorded four solo tackles and two assists in the Eagles’ 20-13 season-ending loss to St. John’s on Friday.

“He was in on more tackles than he had been throughout the season,” said Gonzaga head coach Joe Reyda. “He was filling holes, he was getting pressure on the quarterback and he did a lot of good things. ... He just came to play on defense, which was good. We really needed it. And he did a good job.”

Gonzaga finished its season at 4-5, but Reyda said Francis and the rest of the team steadily improved each week. The improvement culminated in what Reyda called Francis’ best game of the year.

Francis played on the offensive and defensive lines for Gonzaga all year, earning first-team all-conference honors on defense. He recorded 20 solo tackles, nine assists and two sacks on the year.

Reyda was pleased with Francis’ play on offense and defense, but thinks he’s probably best suited as a nose guard in a 4-3 defense. His work on the O-Line should benefit him in college.

“He’s big, he’s strong and for his size he moves very well,” Reyda said. “He’s got good footwork. I think with him, getting in a program and just concentrating on getting bigger and stronger and faster [will be the key].”

Francis has some work to do before heading to College Park, but Reyda is confident he’ll put in the effort and be able to make an impact.

“I think he needs to lift a little more and just get defined,” Reyda said. “He’s going to get stronger, but he’s got to keep running, which I know he will do. Like I said, he’s got good footwork. As long as he just continues to lift and run and do agility work, he’s going to be fine...

“A.J.’s got a good head on his shoulders. He’s likable kid and has a great personality. He’s going to do what you ask of him and I think he’ll do very well at Maryland.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:56 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps
        

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "z" in the field below:
About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

High school recruiting database
Area high school commitments -- 2009
Area high school commitments -- 2008
Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Sign up for FREE local sports alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local sports text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Most Recent Comments

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Photo galleries
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected