The son of former Baylor All-America linebacker James Francis (Class of 1990), the younger Francis was a standout linebacker at La Marque (Texas) High School ... Broke his leg in the seventh game of his senior season and was sidelined for the rest of the year, including his team's 43-35 triple overtime victory over Denton Ryan in the Class 4A Division II championship game ... Despite the injury, he earned first-team all-district honors after recording 70 tackles, one interception and five sacks in seven starts ... Also had four rushing touchdowns ... As a junior, he recorded 109 tackles, 10 sacks, six forced fumbles, three pass breakups for a Cougar squad that was a playoff quarterfinalist and finished 11-3 overall ... Recorded four defensive touchdowns in junior season to earn second-team all-district honors ... Named to Texas Football's 2003 Top 300 preseason list ... Also lettered in track and powerlifting ... Selected Baylor over Kansas State and TCU ... Coached by Bryan Erwin at the District 23-4A school.
Personal: The son of James Francis and Lena Lee, James Henry Francis Jr. was born Aug. 1, 1986, in Galveston, Texas ... Father, James, earned All-America honors as a BU senior linebacker in 1989, was a 1990 first-round choice of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and spent nine seasons there (1990-98) before ending his career with the Washington Redskins in 1999 ... Uncle, Ron Francis, a two-time All-Southwest Conference cornerback and four-year letterwinner at Baylor (1982-86), was a second-round draft selection of the Dallas Cowboys in 1987 and went on to play four years (1987-90) with the organization.