South Dade senior defensive back Jaiden Francois is getting close to making a final decision on where he will play in college next season.
Francois, who tied a Miami-Dade County record and set a school-record with 12 interceptions as a junior, is down to Miami and Nebraska. He plans to announce his decision on the first day of the early signing period on Dec. 18 and enroll in January.
“It’s been a good experience to travel and see different things and know how things work, but it’s been a bit overwhelming,” Francois said of the recruiting process. “At the end of the day I’ve got to make the best decision for me for the next three or four years.”
The two storied programs, which have combined for 10 national titles, had disappointing seasons with Miami going 6-6 before the bowl game in Manny Diaz’s first year while Nebraska finished 5-7 in Scott Frost’s second year.
Francois took an official visit to Nebraska on Nov. 16.
“They are on the path to rebuilding,” Francois said. “They’ve got a nice program, great coaches.”
Frost and defensive backs coach Travis Fisher have been the ones handling Francois’s recruitment to Nebraska.
“They got me playing a lot of positions in the secondary and I can come in and make a big impact,” Francois said.
Francois has verbally committed and decommitted from Miami twice in the past 16 months, but Diaz and safeties coach Ephraim Banda have continued their pursuit as the two coaches visited Francois for an in-home visit last week.
“They said, ‘Just to be patient and watch how the program turns around,’” Francois said.
He will be taking his official visit to Miami on Friday.
“I pretty much know everything about Miami, but I do have a couple questions I’m going to ask them,” Francois said.
South Dade, which finished 7-4 this season, won 30 games in Francois’s four years at the school.
“I had a very good experience,” Francois said. “They taught me a lot of new things to be a better player and a man.”