John Franklin III headed to Auburn last season amid plenty of fanfare after being one of the stars of a Netflix documentary series but it appears his time as a potential starting quarterback for the Tigers has come to an end.
Per ESPN, Franklin worked out at receiver and on special teams earlier this week during spring practice and has given up the traditional orange ‘no-contact’ jersey worn by the other quarterbacks.
“If John doesn’t win the starting job then he’s going to go play another position,” offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey told reporters Tuesday. “But as of right now he’s definitely still in the mix.”
Just like that however, he’s not.
Franklin did start once last year for Auburn and appeared in just about every game as part of a package of plays, but never could unseat Sean White as the primary guy behind center. With the arrival of Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham this spring, head coach Gus Malzahn seems to very likely be down to just two in the race to find a starter for 2017.
That much is likely made clear with the speedy Franklin’s move to receiver given how limited White is this month after suffering a broken arm in the Sugar Bowl. Redshirt freshman Woody Barrett has already left an impression at quarterback this spring and both Tyler Queen and early enrollee Malik Willis are also in the mix for a backup role.
Given how things played out at the position the past few years on the Plains, it’s probably good that Malzahn and Lindsey won’t be lacking for options heading into fall camp this season, even if that doesn’t include Franklin.