DITR – Nathaniel Francis

Nathaniel Francis is a 5’9″, 182 pound, class of 2024 running back from Bolton High School in Alexandria, Louisiana. Nathaniel is an elusive runner; if you put the ball in his hands, he will find a way to gain positive yardage, even if it means he runs cross-field at first to find space. Nathaniel was a productive runner in 2022, as he totaled just over 1,000 all-purpose yards for Bolton and added 11 touchdowns to his statline. One of these touchdowns was on a kick return, and on a squib-kick, at that. Nathaniel will be a fine addition to any program that offers him a spot to play college football. Nathaniel doesn’t hold any offers yet, but that should change soon, as he has his senior year ahead of him. Nathaniel has set some goals for himself for 2023: 2,500 total yards and 20 touchdowns. While difficult, Nathaniel certainly has the skillset to achieve this. For his performance last season, Nathaniel was awarded the honor of being named to the all-district team at both RB and as a kick returner.

Nathaniel mentioned that he models his game after Barry Sanders. He feels as though his athleticism and elusiveness matches up well the Detroit legend.

Nathaniel was recently a participant at our camp in Rayville, Louisiana, where his combine drills performance included a 4.69 40-yard dash time, a 4.59 shuttle time, and an even 10 foot jump in the long jump. Between this and his performance in the 1 on 1 and 7 on 7 drills, Nathaniel earned an invitation to our All-American Bowl Game this December.

I recently had the chance to interview Nathaniel:

Why and at what age did you start playing football?

“I start playing football because it helped keep me out of trouble, and I just love the game of football. I starting playing at 9 year old.”

Have you always played your current position, or did you play a different position growing up?

“I have always played running back.”

What sets you apart from everyone else on the field?

“That I can do it all: catch, run it, throw it, cover. I’m just a playmaker.”

What is your favorite accomplishment so far in your football career?

“Getting all district at two different positions – kick returner and running back.”

What is your favorite memory of playing football so far?

“My favorite memory of football is playing and joking with my teammates after a win.”

How do you balance athletics and academics?

“Take care of academics first, before worrying about football. Mostly going to the study hall after practice to get all my work done.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced on the field?

“When my team needs a play, they all were looking to me.”

How do you stay physically fit outside of football?

“I run track and do powerlifting.”

What is your end goal for your football career?

“To play D1 college football.”

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned playing football?

“To just play and don’t complain.”

How do you prepare for big games?

“To remember why I play the game of football.”

Lastly, who is the biggest role model in your life?

“My father.”