If he could start over what would he do differently?
“If I could do it all over again I would learn how to be a kicker,” Franklin said. “They’ve got it made.”
Franklin was, of course, joking, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have been a pretty good kicker. Although, being a kicker would limit the ability to use his speed, and right now that’s his biggest asset.
At Auburn this past spring Franklin ran a 4.25 40-yard dash. He’s likely the fastest player ever to take the field for FAU, and that’s what the Owls were looking to take advantage of early in Saturday’s victory over Bethune-Cookman.
Franklin hadn’t planned on playing quarterback for the Owls, but that changed when, on the way from the hotel to Howard Schnellenberger Field on Saturday, coach Lane Kiffin drew up a play for him.
“Coach was like, we aren’t trying to use it, we’re going to just save it but if we call it we call it,” Johnson said. “When he said it, I was like, let’s go.”
Franklin’s background as a quarterback left him confident the play would work despite having never practiced it as an Owl.
“Because I’ve done it so much there wasn’t really a need to practice it,” Johnson said.
The play called for Johnson to take a direct snap and follow a running back to the left. It’s essentially the same play FAU called for quarterback De’Andre Johnson’s first snap against Navy. Johnson gained 17 yards. Franklin burst to the left sideline before turning up field for 18 yards.
The video below shows the play, along with Johnson’s two catches.
“When I got kind of toward the edge I thought I was going to score, but it didn’t happen,” Franklin said.
Getting the ball in space isn’t new to Franklin. Dating back to youth football, coaches have tried to find new ways to get him the ball in space.
“Everybody just wanted me to have the ball because of my speed, obviously,” Johnson said. “Athletically, I feel like I could play whatever position I needed to play.”
Expect kicker, that is. Well, not yet, anyway.