March 1, 2013
Florida State didn't have a pressing need for a quarterback this recruiting cycle. Despite losing EJ Manuel to graduation, FSU returns Clint Trickett, Sean Maguire, Jacob Coker and Jameis Winston and all four have at least two years of eligibility remaining (Trickett) and as much as four years still left on their collegiate clock (Maguire and Winston).
That's what makes the signing of John Franklin III so interesting.
A talented signal caller that wowed 'Noles coaches with his throwing ability during summer camps on campus, Franklin is coming to Tallahassee as the team's fifth quarterback but is athletic enough that -- in the chance he doesn't make a move up the depth chart -- he could line up at several different positions.
"He came to our camp two years in a row," said FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, who knows a thing or two about evaluating, recruiting and producing quarterbacks. "He threw the ball extremely well at our camp. He's a tremendous athlete with great hands. He can flick it and throw it, can run. When he cuts it down now, he can zone reads and scrambling, he's going to the house, he can fly. Great instincts.
"He can do a lot of things, but we like him at quarterback."
Franklin was considered to be a consensus top-30 dual-threat quarterback nationally and made a name for himself at South Plantation with his speed and playmaking ability out of the backfield.
If he remains at quarterback, Franklin will give the 'Noles terrific athleticism under center and provide Fisher with another weapon to attack defenses. Should he make the move to another position, the wide receiver or defensive back corps would be bolstered by an athlete that can reportedly run in the 4.3 range.
At 6-foot-1 and 171 pounds, Franklin has the size to make an impact at either of those positions should the coaches choose to move him.
Recruited by FSU wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey, Franklin publicly committed to the Seminoles Nov. 1, 2012. He was later offered by Tennessee and the Volunteers made a strong push at the end for the speedy South Florida native but despite a Jan. 12, 2013 visit to Rocky Top, Franklin stuck with the Seminoles.
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