Scooba, Miss.--A talented and speedy athlete that started his career at Florida State before transferring to East Mississippi Community College to play quarterback, John Franklin committed to the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday, giving Coach Gus Malzahn and his staff one of the most dynamic players in the country in the 2016 class.
"I chose Auburn because the offense is what I need to be in," Franklin said. "Coach Malzahn has a history dealing with juco quarterbacks and they have been successful under him."
Making his first visit to Auburn for a game when the Tigers took on San Jose State, Franklin said being back on the Plains last weekend was a big step for him because it solidified what he already knew. Planning his official visit for the Iron Bowl, he said getting back was important for him to see things again.
"This time I was more familiar and I still got the same vibe that I got the first time, love," Franklin said. "It was just a reassurance for me. I kind of knew after they offered me that it was where I wanted to go, but I got some reassurance this past weekend coming back to Auburn. Seeing it for the third time with my family will be even better for me."
A 6-2, 185-pounder with better than 4.4 speed, Franklin split time at quarterback this season with Wyatt Roberts ,but still managed to put up some good numbers in very little playing time. Completing 64-110 passes for 733 yards and seven touchdowns with two interceptions, Franklin's biggest impact came on the ground as he ran the ball 43 times for 451 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns.
In line to perhaps challenge for the starting quarterback job with the Seminoles this season, Franklin decided a change was in order after Notre Dame quartrerback Everett Golson transferred into the Florida State program. That led the sophomore to East Mississippi where he opened his recruiting back up, catching the eye of Auburn because of his playmaking ability.
Franklin's claim to fame while at Florida State was his ability to prepare the Seminole defense for several of the nation's top quarterbacks, including Auburn's Nick Marshall and Marcus Mariota of Oregon. While preparing to face both in bowl games the last two years it was Franklin that served as the scout team player for FSU's offense, something Coach Jimbo Fisher said he did very well.
"John is fast, fast," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said last year in prep for the Rose Bowl. "That's the Heisman Trophy winner. That's a different level. But it's the best simulation you could get."
His speed has also been evident on the track as Franklin was a member of the FSU 4x100 relay team that won the ACC Championship in 2014.
With four-star quarterback Woody Barrett already committed in the 2016 class for the Auburn Tigers Franklin could be a player that gets a look at that position or could play a number of different spots in the offense moving forward.
A full qualifier coming out of high school, Franklin said he plans to enroll in January and is ready to get his career started at Auburn.
"They were definitely one of the first schools I looked into when I got to EMCC," Franklin said. "Going through this a second time you don't need to see much to know where you need to be. You kind of know how everything works. I know what I want, I know where I need to be, Auburn showed me all that. It's all business."