At the end of the 2013 football season, the Mizzou Football Family said goodbye to many talented student-athletes, including starting quarterback James Franklin.
Throughout his four years at Mizzou, Franklin made his mark as a premier quarterback for the Tigers. He had the opportunity to play for the team both in the Big 12 and the SEC, and he received numerous honors, including the 2011 Independence Bowl Offensive MVP. He was also named one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country coming into the 2013 football season.
SEC Fans Radio Network
Since graduation, the Texas native has embraced every curveball life has thrown at him, excelling both on the field and off.
Franklin’s most recent endeavor is in the sports journalism world, where he has gotten involved with the SEC Fans Radio Network, which covers all 14 SEC teams. He hosts a show called “James Franklin’s QB Vision,” airing every Friday at 5 p.m. CT, with the help of Dr. SEC, an SEC Network sports talk show host.
“Dr. SEC is a very nice and cool guy,” Franklin said. “Very laid back and a humble man. He is fun working with, and I have been able to learn a lot from him on how to run a show.”
The talk show focuses on anything and everything Mizzou, and Franklin has found his past experiences beneficial in the sports radio world.
“It’s something fun.” Franklin said. “I try to be as up-front and honest as I can on things that I talk about.”
Franklin was offered the radio job via Twitter, and he has found a passion for radio that he plans to pursue.
“I can for sure see a future in radio.” Franklin said. “It is fun and actually pretty easy.”
Franklin & the NFL
While the former Tiger has grown fond of the broadcast world, he has not forgotten his football roots. His journey to the NFL began after the 2013 Cotton Bowl and is still in progress.
After the 2013 Cotton Bowl, Franklin spent time training and preparing for the 2014 NFL Draft. He was signed by the Detroit Lions, but then released in August. Since being released, Franklin has been back in Columbia, training in hopes of signing with another team.
“When I got released by the Lions, it took me a couple days to get over being released, but I knew being sad wasn’t going to do anything for me.” Franklin said. “I did my best to be positive, and I’m training hard and taking every opportunity that I can.”
Franklin currently resides in Columbia with his wife, training religiously in the hopes of going to the NFL or the Canadian Football League. He finds joy in training because he is able to work hard and exert a lot of energy.
“The training for the NFL is every day for about 2.5 hours.” Franklin said. “I lift weights and do a lot of cardio to stay in shape and then I do footwork drills and throwing drills to stay sharp.”
Franklin first attracted Canadian scouts after the 2014 NFL Draft, but he waited to commit to them until he tried out the NFL. Currently, he has high hopes for the Canadian League.
“It will help prepare me by giving me experience against other professional athletes and getting film out there for the NFL scouts.” Franklin said.
While he will gain experience and preparation for American football, Franklin will have to adjust to the way Canada plays the game.
“The fields are 10 yards longer and 10 yards wider. And the goal post are in the front of the end zone.” Franklin said. “Also, you can motion forward and not just sideways. Plus, there are only three downs, not four.”
Life Beyond Football
Regarding the future, Franklin plans to pursue football for another two years. He hopes to get another opportunity in the NFL, but if not, he has other aspirations.
Franklin finds joy in motivational speaking and plans to utilize his gifts to connect with others through spoken word. Eventually, the former quarterback hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an evangelist.
“I want to share the power of belief and the things you can accomplish when you do believe,” Franklin said. “How important it is to know what you want and to not listen to all the things you are told that will hold you back.”
Above all, Franklin wants to be successful—but not the kind of success that includes a mansion and luxury cars. Instead, he defines success as making a positive impact on others.
“At the end of the day, life’s not really about winning or losing,” Franklin said. “Being able to make a positive impact on somebody, when you can change someone’s life, make them smile, make them see a different perspective, and make them see the positive. I think that does a lot more for you in the long run.”
Support From the Mizzou Football Family
In the midst of change, Franklin hasn’t been alone. He has had the Mizzou Football Family with him for the whole journey.
“There’s a small few you stick close to for a long time.” Franklin said. “They’re going to be there probably for the rest of your life.”
If there was one teammate who was there for Franklin through thick and thin, it was Josey. Franklin, who suffered multiple injuries while playing for Mizzou, was able to lean on Josey, who suffered a severe knee injury in 2011 that put his Mizzou Football career on hold.
“We were there for each other. We were like Batman and Robin,” Franklin said. “He helped me understand that I shouldn’t be so frustrated and to not put so much pressure and stress on myself.”
When the Lions released Franklin, Josey supported him, just like he did in college. He encouraged him to keep working hard and to stay in touch.
“He kept saying it was just a bump in the road,” Franklin said.
Franklin and Josey’s bond is a true picture of the Mizzou Football Family atmosphere. The two players were not just teammates, but brothers, and that brotherhood lasts a lifetime.