When fall camp opens Wednesday, all eyes will be on the quarterback position. It’s something Auburn people have grown accustomed to over the years. Picking a new quarterback each season is about as regular as the leaves changing on the trees.
What we’ve learned from past experience is the person who emerges from camp as the starter doesn’t always end that way. It seems like the clubhouse leader right now is Sean White. Why? Because most fans can’t fathom Jeremy Johnson taking another snap and John Franklin, III was shaky during his A-Day performance.
That’s hardly enough to make White the leader, but that’s all fans have to work with right now. As to whom the coaches believe will emerge, well that’s anyone’s guess.
If you are looking for some insight into Franklin, may I recommend the recently released Netflix documentary, Last Chance U. First off, let me say the six-part series is excellent. If you want to see what life’s like at the junior college level, this is it.
It chronicles the 2015 season of East Mississippi Community College and its quest for a third straight national title. The series spotlights several players, including Franklin, who played quarterback there last season.
There are a couple of takeaways from watching Franklin. One, he’s just a kid, something we all forget about with these players. He has flashes of maturity along with periods of acting like a knucklehead—kind of like all of us in college—the part we leave out when talking to our own children.
More than anything, Franklin shows he’s a leader and a winner when he puts his mind to it. There’s plenty of self-confidence between his ears. It can sometimes be obnoxious, but it’s also a requirement for quarterbacking in the SEC. The kid wants to win as badly as anyone.
Like many fans, the coaches worry about his throwing ability in the early episodes, but they also note there’s something special with the way he runs the football. If you think this is Nick Marshall and déjà vu all over again, then you may be right.
In the series, you see a lot of Marshall similarities in the former Florida St. quarterback. The powerhouse Mississippi program most recently produced Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly.
With camp closed, it’s a good time to check out the program. Who knows, you may be getting a glimpse of Auburn’s starting quarterback.
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