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TALLAHASSEE — Deondre Francois is back in the driver's seat. The junior quarterback beat out James Blackman and Bailey Hockman for the opportunity to start for No. 19 Florida State in the season opener against No. 20 Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. Coach Willie Taggart made the announcement on Monday prior to practice. By Bob Ferrante.


BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic star linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair is an observant Muslim, and he understands why there is fascination regarding one particular element of his offseason training regimen. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan requires Muslims to abstain from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset. There is no exception for football players. So when Al-Shaair would join his FAU teammates for workouts from mid-May through mid-June, some days with the temperature exceeding 90 degrees, he endured the sessions without drinking or eating anything until nightfall. By Tim Reynolds.


Feleipe Franks' mobility landed him the starting quarterback job at Florida. Coach Dan Mullen named Franks the team's starter to begin the season, saying Monday that his "ability to extend plays, some of his athleticism right now, will give us the best opportunity to win games." By Mark Long.


NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma's defense has had a lot of time to think about its last outing. The Sooners gave up 527 yards in a 54-48 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal to close last season. The seventh-ranked Sooners still use that embarrassing performance for motivation, yet they look forward to a fresh start Saturday in the season opener against Florida Atlantic. By Cliff Brunt.


Indiana coach Tom Allen just keeps adapting on the fly. When he announced top rusher Morgan Ellison was suspended indefinitely last week, Allen installed a ready-made backup plan. When Allen announced Monday that second-string quarterback Brandon Dawkins left the program after failing to beat out Peyton Ramsey for the starting job, Allen simply asked last year's state Mr. Football Award winner, Reese Taylor, to move back to his old spot. By Michael Marot.



NEW YORK — Everyone's still chasing the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Many of the faces change every year in Miami, Buffalo, New York — and even in Foxborough — but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are constants in the division. By Dennis Waszak Jr..


JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without their top receiver for the second straight year. Marqise Lee will have season-ending knee surgery and be placed on injured reserve, coach Doug Marrone said Monday. By Mark Long.



SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers agreed to terms Monday with veteran right winger Troy Brouwer on an $850,000, one-year contract. Brouwer became a free agent when the Calgary Flames bought out the final two years of his deal.


The AP, Miami