BOCA RATON – That John Franklin is fast is not news. During Tuesday’s FAU Pro Day, Franklin wanted to show he is versatile, too.
Franklin ran a disappointing 4.4 40-yard dash on Tuesday – a good time for certain but well off the 4.19 he reportedly ran during a training session.
Running, however, was only part of his day.
Franklin caught passes, threw some passes, participated in defensive back drills, and fielded punts and kicks in front of about 26 NFL scouts and three CFL scouts on Tuesday at the turf field inside the FAU track.
“I just wanted to really show that I could do multiple things,” Franklin said.
Franklin began his college career as a quarterback at Florida St. He transferred to East Mississippi, where he remained at QB while starring in the debut season of the Netflix docu-series “Last Chance U.”
From there Franklin transferred to Auburn where, after losing a quarterback battle, he moved to wide receiver. Franklin completed his career with on season at FAU.
“I felt like my receiver routes were crisp – really wanted to show that,” Franklin said.
Franklin caught seven passes for 95 yards and a score. He also rushed for 229 yards and two more scores on 16 carries.
“That’s a hard transition – to go to a position your senior year of college when other guys have been playing it forever,” Kiffin said. “I think as people look at him they are going to look at, OK, not where he is right now but where he’s going to get to once he continues to play the position longer.”
Franklin jumped 10 feet, eight inches in the broad jump, best of the day by six inches.
He elected to forego the bench press, knowing he’d need his strength for the individual workouts.
Late last week, Franklin learned he might also be asked to try some defensive back drills.
“Never played DB a day in my life but I did the drills,” Franklin said.
Racing through a disruptive wind, Franklin ran the 40 in 4.38 on one scout’s stopwatch.
Running back Buddy Howell ran the second-fastest time – a 4.52.
“Everything was smooth,” said Howell, who also caught passes on Tuesday. “I showed them I could do anything they ask me to.”
Receiver Kalib Woods ran a 4.55, fellow receiver Kamrin Solomon a 4.66.
All-Conference USA guard Roman Fernandez benched 225 pounds 33 times, most among the Owls. Fellow guard Jakobi Smith followed with 31. Center Antonyo Woods, an All-Conference USA selection himself, managed 26 repetitions.
“It’s exciting for them,” Kiffin said. “Obviously a little bit different than the pro days I’m used to. These guys are chasing their dreams. It’s good to see.”