Earlier this offseason, John Franklin III changed positions. Just a couple of weeks before the start of a new season, he’s changing schools. Again.
In a statement, head coach Gus Malzahn confirmed that Franklin “has made the decision to play elsewhere.” The coach cited Franklin’s desire to closer to his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as the reason behind the decision, although it comes a few months after he moved from quarterback to wide receiver — and a day after Jarrett Stidham was officially named the starting quarterback.
Franklin will be leaving The Plains as a graduate transfer, meaning he’d be eligible to play immediately this season. Already, speculation has Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic as a potential landing spot.
Below is Malzahn’s statement, in its entirety.
John Franklin came to me expressing his desire for the chance to play more and get closer to home. He has made the decision to play elsewhere this season as a graduate transfer. John has been an outstanding young man during his time here and leaves Auburn with a degree. We wish John nothing but the best and thank him for his time at Auburn.
Franklin began his collegiate career as a three-star member of Florida State’s 2013 recruiting class. After playing in two games in 2014, he transferred from FSU to ‘Last Chance U” before reports surfaced in November of 2015 that he would be transferring to Auburn. In his first (and only) season with the Tigers last year, he started one game in place of the injured Sean White.