What seems like ages ago, John Franklin III was a Florida State quarterback who had designs on succeeding Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Jameis Winston as the Seminoles’ starter.
He’s now three schools and a run as a reality TV star away from his days at Florida State, but Franklin’s football dreams are still alive. On Sunday, after heading to Chicago on a rookie tryout, the Bears signed Franklin to their 90-man roster, according to a tweet Franklin posted.
After losing the quarterback battle at FSU, Franklin transferred to East Mississippi Community College of Last Chance U fame, where he spent the majority of the season backing up a future Mississippi State walk-on. Still, he earned an Auburn scholarship and headed to the SEC to take another swing at becoming a starting quarterback.
Unfortunately for Franklin, things were only marginally better with the Tigers. He appeared in 13 games and rushed for 430 yards while passing for 204 more yards, but he still couldn’t win the starting role.
So Franklin packed his bags and hit the road again, transferring as a graduate to Florida Atlantic and switching to wide receiver for Lane Kiffin. At FAU, Franklin caught 7 passes for 95 yards and ran 16 times for 229 yards while scoring 3 total touchdowns.
A 4.40-second 40-yard dash at his pro day showed off athleticism that earned him a shot in the NFL, and it appears he took advantage. However, it looks like he’ll be switching positions again, with the Bears introducing Franklin as a defensive back.
Still, the dream is alive for Franklin after a tumultuous collegiate career. If he can make it in the NFL, that will prove to all his doubters — including former Florida State star Jalen Ramsey — that they were wrong and he just needed the right circumstance to present itself.