February 8, 2007

Coach is proud of Francis' transformation

As flashbulbs burst, four players from Miramar High School in Miramar
Florida got their first look at the national stage as they took part in National Signing Day. Defensive end Justin Francis, defensive end Sean
Hacker, guard Jorge Cruz and cornerback Edmund Baker signed letters of intent to colleges of their choice in front of reporters, parents and friends.

Taking center stage was Justin Francis, a defensive end prospect who doubles as a tight end. Francis wrapped up his senior year catching three receptions for 56 yards (18.67 yards per catch) and one touchdown. He signed for a four-year scholarship to Rutgers University in New Jersey.

It was a particularly satisfying day for Miramar coach Rodney Gray, who mentored Justin as he made his climb towards the D1A level. It was a level that was far from his reach upon his transfer to Miramar two season ago.

Like many big men, Francis hadn't matured physically yet - and there was some initial doubt regarding whether he had the drive to continue the process.

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