Columbia, MO- James Franklin. Not really a household name across America, but it soon might be. Last season, as a true-freshmen backup QB to Blaine Gabbert, Franklin saw limited playing time...but he still saw it. He took snaps in big games such as the Colorado and Oklahoma games. He even threw for a TD against the Buffs and rushed for a score against Boomer. All this prior experience will help Franklin in the long run as the Tigers begin spring ball.
There are still unanswered questions, however, about who will get the starting job. Franklin amassed over 106 yards passing and 116 yards rushing in the 9 games he played (Illinois, San Diego State, Nebraska, Texas Tech were the games he didn't take a snap), and tallied a cumulative quarterback rating of 151.45. Pretty respectable for someone who only attempted 14 passes all season.
James is better known for his mobility, though. His elusiveness and his ability to shoot the gap in the line will be a key factor in the Tiger backfield, where there has been much concern over who will play what and where. After losing star running back Derrick "D-Wash" Washington to felony sexual assault charges prior to the 2010 season, Gary Pinkel and offensive coordinator David Yost adopted a "running back by committee" designed offense. The rushed with four backs, plus the quarterbacks. With at least six different people regularly rushing the ball, it was hard for an offense to key off of just one guy.
Rushing leaders (10+ carries) from last season:
Name - Carries - Yards
De'Vion Moore - 99 - 517
Henry Josey - 76 - 437
Kendial Lawrence - 73 - 422
Blaine Gabbert - 112 - 232
Marcus Murphy - 22 - 181
James Franklin - 23 - 116
T.J. Moe - 12 - 81
James Franklin was used primarily out of the Wildcat Formation, or "Wild Zou" as they call it in the MATC. T.J. Moe was also used out of this formation due to his experience as a quarterback at Ft. Zumwalt West high school in O'Fallon. T.J.'s one touchdown came in the Border War with Kansas.
|Incoming Freshman Corbin Berkstresser|