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#44 Ryan Francis
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 215
Year: Redshirt Senior
Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
High School: West
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Francis Photos

THREE-YEAR LETTERMAN - One of the top defenders returning to the SoCon this year...has combined with Allan Cratsenberg to forge a formidable linebacking duo...returning all-conference and all-state performer...held out of most of spring practice to ready for redshirt senior season...a leader on and off the field...repeated as SoCon Academic Honor Roll recipient.

2016 – Named first team All-SoCon by the media and second team All-SoCon by the coaches at linebacker...also earned second team All-State honors at linebacker...played in 10 of 11 games missing the season finale against Wofford because of injury...ranked third in the SoCon in tackles per game with 9.6 per game and led the team in tackles-for-loss with 13.5 including six sacks which also topped the Keydet defensive unit...ranked third in SoCon in sacks/game (6.0-total) and third in tackles for loss/game (13.5 total/1.35 game)...led VMI in tackles in five of 10 games...posted a career-high 4.5 tackles for loss vs. ETSU Oct. 8...had three consecutive double-digit tackle games (16-10-12) with a combined 9.5 TFL/44 yards including 5 sacks/35 yards...posted another three-game string of double digit tackles later in the season (10-10-11)...lettered for the third time.

2015 – Named Second Team All-Southern Conference at linebacker as selected by the media...started all 11 games at inside linebacker...led the team in tackles with 115 total stops including 54 solo hits which also topped the team...ranked third in the Southern Conference in tackles per game with 10.5 per contest...ranked second on the team in tackles for loss with 9.5...broke up passes in Morehead State, Bucknell, and Mercer games...finished the season with career-high back-to-back 15-tackle efforts against The Citadel (10 solo hits) and Western Carolina...forced two fumbles against The Citadel...had double-digit tackles in eight of 11 games...posted three tackles-for-loss for 8 yards against Furman...logged 12-tackle games against Ball State and Samford.

2014 – Played in all 12 games and started 10 of 12 games at outside linebacker...ranked second on the team in tackles with 71...tied for second on the team in tackles for loss with 6.5 for 21 yards...turned in big plays in the opener against Bucknell forcing and recovering a fumble which led to a score and registering a sack for 10 yards in the process...posted double-digit tackles in three games including a season-high 12 tackles against Furman and Western Carolina in consecutive weeks...had 10 tackles against Davidson…recovered a fumble against Bowling Green...ranked 12th in the SoCon in tackles per game (3.0)...lettered for the first time...registered sacks against Chattanooga and Furman.

2013 – Did not see game action.

HIGH SCHOOL – Attended West High School (Knoxville, Tenn.)…two-Time Class 5A All-State (DB) - Had eight interceptions and 75 tackles as a junior...Prep Extra First Team in 2012-13...2012 Team Captain...District MVP...also served as quarterback and compliled school's single-season record with 33 touchdowns…tied school's single season interception record (eight)...elected Mr. West by peers...AP Scholar with honors.

MAJOR - Majoring in Economics and Business.