If you watched the first season of Netflix football documentary “Last Chance U,” you probably remember John Franklin IV, the brash quarterback whose dual-threat talent carried him to Auburn.
Franklin wound up spending the 2016 season as the Tigers’ change-of-pace rushing quarterback, then transferring to Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic program, where he was moved to receiver. This fall, he rushed 14 times for 154 yards while catching six passes for 73 yards.
On Saturday, Franklin’s FAU team faced North Texas in the Conference USA championship game, storming out to a giant lead before inserting Franklin at quarterback in the final minutes. With 1:09 to play, the speedy Franklin took a snap from the shot gun, kept the ball on a read option and dashed through the North Texas line and all the way to the end zone for what appeared to be an FAU touchdown.
There was, however, one major issue. Replay showed that Franklin had dropped the ball and begun celebrating before crossing the goal line. The touchdown was overturned and Franklin was left with a nice chunk of yardage and and embarrassing fumble that gave North Texas the ball back.
Franklin is obviously not the first guy to commit this sort of gaffe (shoutout to Leon Lett, DeSean Jackson, et al), but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing or inexplicable. Come on guys, we know celebrating is fun, but how hard is it to wait an extra half second until you’re comfortable in the end zone?
In the end, Franklin walked away with 75 rushing yards, 49 passing yards and 22 receiving yards in his penultimate college game, as FAU won 41-17. Still though, that final touchdown probably would have been nice.