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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jacobi Francis, DB, Memphis

Jacobi Francis Memphis DB NFL Draft 2022
Jacobi Francis is a reliable playmaker as a member of the Memphis secondary. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams and shared his story.
  • Name: Jacobi Francis
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 198 lbs
  • Position: CB
  • College: University of Memphis
  • Twitter: @COB1_
  • Instagram: cob1__

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I graduated with a Sports Law degree in May of 2020. I’m currently working on my second degree in Liberal Studies with a focus in Sociology. I’m on pace to receive my second degree in December 2021. I’ve also been an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. since 2019. I have an internship lined up this summer with a sports financial group in Memphis, TN.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say that I’m a hard worker. I’m smart and able to pick up stuff fast. I’m also versatile enough to play anywhere on the back end.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
My role continues to develop each year as my competitive nature helps move me forward. I compete every day whether on the field or in the classroom. I also strive to not only push myself but also my teammates to be the best that we can. I am a leader of my position group, and I’m always looking for ways to make us better.

As for position fit, I can see myself playing anywhere in the secondary whether that be on the outside, inside at nickel or playing safety. I enjoy playing nickel because I’m closer to the ball and can blitz or stop the run. I played nickel for 3 years at Memphis before moving to the outside in 2020. I’m slated as the starting nickelback this upcoming fall season. I’ve also started every year on most special teams units.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
SMU receivers James Proche and Reggie Roberson are two receivers who have gained my respect over the years. They are precise route runners with good speed and strong hands.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
From Anthony Miller to Damonte Coxie and Calvin Austin, there are many guys that I’ve practiced with over the years that have impressed me. Damonte and I have been pushing each other since day one. Between Damonte and Calvin, I’ve practiced against two completely different receivers. Damonte being the big lanky physical type, and Calvin being the lightning quick receiver. Even though he’s a small guy, he’s still one of the toughest on the field. I’ve seen him grow into the amazing player that he is now, and he still hasn’t reached his potential.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Every year, I’ve felt that I’ve had to come in and compete for my spot. I wasn’t very highly recruited coming out of high school, so I didn’t get too many offers. I had to overcome those negative thoughts that I wasn’t good enough. It was always a competition and I had to overcome doubts. So, I put in the work and end up being the starter at the beginning of the year.

It was definitely different in 2020 with the pandemic outbreak happening and changing everything. I feel like for athletes, if you didn’t come out of this past year better than you did something wrong. Not only did I focus on being the best athlete that I could, I got my mental right, and my approach became different. My mindset shifted, and I felt like I belonged on the top.

The NCAA gave athletes the opportunity to come back for another season and that was a tough decision for me. It took me a while to commit to coming back, but I ultimately wanted to stick it out another year. I figured that I was still playing ball at the University of Memphis, and at the end of the day, it was a win-win situation. I wanted to have an impact on a team and be more of a leader to the younger guys, and I’ll have the opportunity to do that this fall.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Soccer or baseball. I just happened to fall into soccer, but baseball was my second sport. I played in travel leagues playing 2nd base, shortstop and outfield. After my freshman year, I stopped playing those sports and decided to focus my efforts on football.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of growing into the man I am today and making my mom proud. I’m also proud of pledging my fraternity and that I’ll graduate with two degrees.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My favorite play will always be my first college game in 2017 when we were playing against UCLA. On a 4th down play, Josh Rosen threw the ball across the field, and I was able to get us the win with a pass break up. That was the start of my college career, and I’ll never forget it.

Winning our conference championship in 2019 was great. It seemed like everyone bought into what we were doing and everything just clicked. We put in tons of work preparing for each game and had a lot of fun. Getting back-to-back wins against Cincinnati that year was definitely memorable.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Growing up in Georgia, I’ve been a Falcons fan. One of my favorite athletes is Dennis Rodman. He was such a free spirited person, but when it came game time it was all business. Tyrann Mathieu is one of my favorite football players. His mindset and attitude towards the game make him one of the best. I also like to watch other players like Budda Baker, Kenny Moore and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Gunna and Baby Face Ray are some of my favorite music artists. Before games, I get my mind right listening to “Money on the Way” by Gunna.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Etouffee is my favorite comfort food. I love noodles with some sriracha sauce. There’s a good place in Memphis called The Crazy Noodle that you have to check out.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite actor is Will Ferrell. I really like that dry humor. A TV show I really like is The Office. Step Brothers is one of my favorite movies.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I’m really into fashion. So, in my spare time, I like to go shopping for clothes and find the next style. As for talents, I used to play the drums a lot in middle school.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play football because I love the game. I’ve been playing it ever since I was 4 or 5 years old. My mom is one of my biggest motivators, her and my brother. My mom is a single parent and has always been my #1 supporter. She’s always in the front row cheering me on. I give back to her everyday with how hard I play on the field, and I hope to give back to her even more when I get to the NFL.

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