This is the first in a series of reports where ShowMeMizzou.com will spotlight the Missouri Tiger 2010 football signees on an individual basis to help Tiger fans get to know about their new Tiger players on the team as much as possible through player bios, coaches quotes and our analysis. Up first is new Tiger QB James Franklin.
QB JAMES FRANKLIN 6'2" 218 4.6 Corinth (TX) Lake Dallas
Franklin is one of the top dual threat prep signal callers in the nation over the last couple of years. He graduated early from high school, and is currently enrolled in spring semester classes at Mizzou, and will be able to take part in spring drills when camp opens this March. He is a strong-armed and elusive presence in the backfield who has proven to be very adept at throwing the ball on the run. He's rated as the nation's No. 11 overall quarterback prospect by Scout.com. In 2009, Franklin threw for 2,360 yards, rushed for 1,282 yards and accounted for 41 total touchdowns, as he was a Class 4A 2nd-Team All-State selection, while also winning District 5-4A Most Valuable Player honors. As a junior in 2008, he passed for 2,464 yards and added 23 touchdowns, while gaining 1,151 yards and 18 more touchdowns on the ground. James also played basketball for his school, and was a regional qualifier in the shot put.
His parents are Willie and Pamela Franklin. His father was a standout tight end for Oklahoma and played in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts.
Franklin and his family lived in Rolla, Missouri until he was 12 years old. James is planning to study communications while at Mizzou. His hobbies are working out, eating, playing with his dogs, hanging out with his friends and family, and learning more about God. He chose Missouri over Nebraska, Oregon, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Kansas State, among others.
Franklin's high school coach, Michael Young, compared Franklin's qualities of character and leadership to that of Tim Tebow.
Coach Young said that they ran a spread offense, "similar to what Missouri does."
Coach Young's cross-town rival, Denton Ryan Head Coach Joey Florence had this to say about James Franklin. "He's just a great kid in the community, and great leader on the football field. Y'all at Missouri got you a good one there. A lot of people think y'all got the best QB in the state (of Texas). We haven't had much success against him, so I'm glad to see him go."
Missouri Assistant Coach Bruce Walker was Franklin's primary recruiter. He talked about Franklin. "When you talk about him being a dual-threat QB, I think his best attributes are that he can throw the football. He has a great completion percentage, and throws for a lot of yards, and runs the football, as well.............. He's had seven two-minute drives, either at the end of the game, or at the end of a half."
JP: "James is a true dual-threat QB in that he can throw the ball as well as he runs it. He is a balanced player and continues to improves as a QB. He has gone from being considered a good athlete that plays QB to being a good QB who is an athlete. He is physically developed and I think that along with coming in early will give him an advantage to have a shot at being the number two QB behind Blaine Gabbert for 2010. I can understand the Tebow comparison from the standpoint of him being a strong,powerful runner who sometimes looks like a fullback with the ball in his hands. He reminds me of a young Donovan McNabb."
Greg: "The Brad Smith comparisons are inevitable, not only because of Franklin's commitment to his faith, but also his physical build and mobility. He's about the same size entering Missouri that Brad Smith was when he left for the NFL. I don't know if Franklin's quite the runner that Smith was, but he's definitely a much better passer."