Gus Malzahn took the college football world by storm in 2013 when he was hired as the Auburn football coach and he signed Junior College Quarterback Nick Marshall.
Auburn won the SEC championship after shocking Alabama with the Kick 6 win.
They came within a few seconds of beating a powerhouse Florida State team in the national championship game.
After such early success, 2014 was a disappointment for Auburn finishing up 8-5. But, those losses were more of fault of an iffy defense instead of Nick Marshall and the offense.
Last season’s Quarterback play was something of a disaster for the Tigers.
Jeremy Johnson started off the season with fans talking about the Heisman Trophy with the way he looked in relief of Marshall in 2014.
But, that obviously did not happen and he was eventually benched in favor of redshirt freshman Sean White. Freshman White has some talent, but he’s really not the best type of Quarterback to run Malzahn’s system.
Johnson came back later in the year when White was struggling and played pretty well at times. Johnson is 6-5, 240 and has a great arm, but he’s not the kind of athlete that the offensive coaches at Auburn are looking for.
They really want another Nick Marshall.
Mixed in with the really talented Florida State recruiting class of 2013 was a somewhat tiny Dual Threat Quarterback from Plantation, Florida named John Franklin. Surrounded by talent like Jalen Ramsey, Matthew Thomas, DeMarcus Walker, Kermit Whitfield and Ro’Derrick Hoskins sat 6-1, 165 John Franklin.
Franklin was small, but he could fly. Franklin wanted to play Quarterback and it seems that Florida State promised him he would get a shot at Quarterback.
The speedy Franklin was overlooked by more prototypical Quarterbacks and he eventually transferred to East Mississippi Community College.
East Mississippi Community College has been good to Ole Miss with Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly and maybe it’s time they will be good for Auburn as well.
Franklin won’t make you think of Dan Marino or John Elway throwing the football, but then, he also was timed in 4,38 in the 40 yard dash once. There’s not really much reason to doubt that time because he was a member of the Florida State ACC 4 x 100 championship team and he made it to the finals of the ACC 100 meters. He finished in 8th place with a 10.79. Whatever his real 40 time is, he is a talented athlete and fast enough to make Auburn fans dream of Nick Marshall.
Plus, he has now grown, as college kids are known to do. He is now listed as 6-1, 185, so he has added 20 pounds since leaving high school.
He has been working on his passing and if he shows any kind of consistency in his throws, expect
Franklin to have a big year in 2016.
In the Auburn Spring Game, Franklin really did little to distinguish himself from the other Quarterbacks, White and Johnson. But, the other two have been on campus for a while and Franklin is brand new on the scene.
John Franklin has unlimited potential and possibly could be the answer to Auburn’s Quarterbacking problems.
But, as of right now, he is not there yet.
But, he has plenty of time before the Auburn Tigers line up against Clemson in game one to work on his game.