Auburn QB-turned-WR John Franklin III announces transfer to FAU
AUBURN, Ala. — Former Auburn quarterback and Last Chance U star John Franklin III is on the move again.
The Auburn graduate and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native announced on his Instagram page Tuesday afternoon he is transferring to FAU and will play this season for former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
“John Franklin came to me expressing his desire for the chance to play more and get closer to home,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. “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.”
Earlier this month, Franklin said transferring was “the last thing I wanted to do, to be honest.”
After graduating and being recognized by Malzahn prior to practice on Aug. 5, Franklin spoke to the media for the first time since Auburn’s 35-19 Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma.
“Transferring is a tough process and to be bouncing around from school to school,” he said. “Transferring was the last option because it takes a lot out of you. This is my third school and trying to make it a fourth? Four schools in five years doesn’t look good for anybody.”
But Franklin announced his decision to transfer a day after Jarrett Stidham was named Auburn’s starting quarterback.
And so Franklin will make another move. The first occurred in June 2015, 10 days after Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson transferred to Florida State, where Franklin went after playing at South Plantation High School.
From Tallahassee, Franklin traveled to Scooba, Miss., where he joined the East Mississippi Community College football team and became a star on the Netflix series Last Chance U.
Though the 6-foot-1, 184-pound quarterback eventually lost the starting job to current Mississippi State QB Wyatt Roberts, Franklin found a home at Auburn.
Following much anticipation, Franklin struggled to earn playing time under Malzahn and former offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
Last season, Franklin completed 14 of 26 passes for 204 yards while rushing for 430 yards and 2 touchdowns. Auburn turned to Franklin when starter Sean White suffered a broken forearm in the Sugar Bowl, but Franklin’s night was cut short by an arm injury.
Franklin said he was focusing on details and technique as he transitioned to wide receiver, and that the process had been going well. He also voiced hopes of playing at the “next level” and opening up a multiple sports training facility in his hometown when his football days were done.
He’s still got a few more of those left, it seems.
“My whole thing was just like, as long as I’m getting the ball, that’s all that matters,” Franklin said. “I think I’ve proven that when I have it good things will come up from it.”