BOCA RATON — John Franklin III caught national attention after allegedly running a 4.19 40-yard dash in a video he posted online. Come Tuesday, the quarterback-turned-receiver will have another opportunity to post the fastest 40-time ever.
After not coming close to his alleged 4.19 at the National Scouting Combine last month, Franklin has another chance to show off his speed in front of NFL scouts at FAU’s Pro Day on Tuesday morning. Fifteen members of FAU’s 2017 Conference USA-winning roster, including First-Team All-Conference USA offensive linemen Antonyo Woods and Roman Fernandez, will be taking part.
All eyes, however, will be on Franklin, the former Florida State, East Mississippi and Auburn quarterback who switched to receiver with the Tigers last spring and transferred to FAU in August. Franklin caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown with the Owls while adding 229 rushing yards on 16 carries, the majority of those coming as a Wildcat quarterback.
When Dwyer graduate Daniel Parr was demoted from the starting quarterback job in Week 4, Franklin became the de facto backup quarterback, just another stop in what Franklin has called a wild journey.
“Living it was even more crazy than talking about it,” Franklin told The Post last month. “I feel like everything happens for a reason and throughout all those stops and all those different journeys to those places, I learned a lot and I learned more about me in how I grew as a player, how I grew as a man. Each place taught me something different, and if I had to do it all over again, I would.”
Wide receiver Kalib Woods headlines the skill players hoping to impress scouts following a 2017 season in which he recorded 24 catches for 619 yards and five touchdowns. With one more catch, Woods would have been eligible to lead Division I in yards per catch. Woods was suspended for the first half of last season following a Jan. 2017 nightclub fight, but he was reinstated in October and named one of the team’s end-of-season captains.
Online court records show Woods, whose 135 catches for 2,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in his four seasons, is next scheduled to attend a plea conference on May 21. Woods caught two passes in the NFLPA Bowl in January and is a potential late-round pick despite the ongoing legal issues.
Twenty-eight of the 32 NFL teams attended last year’s FAU Pro Day, leading to 2016 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Trey Hendrickson becoming a third-round pick of the New Orleans Saints. FAU has had a player drafted in six of the last eight NFL drafts.
Running back Gregory “Buddy” Howell Jr. told The Post on Saturday he is healthy after lingering issues in 2017 and is hoping to run a 4.4. Howell averaged a career-high 6.6 yards per carry for the Owls last season, rushing for 740 yards and five touchdowns.
After retiring in January to focus on school and completing his engineering degree, quarterback Jason Driskel will not participate in the Pro Day.
The following players will also participate in FAU’s Pro Day: running back Marcus Clark; wide receivers Henry Bussey III, Kamrin Solomon and Nate Terry; guard Jakobi Smith; defensive end Haiden Nagel; defensive tackle Jeremiah Taleni; defensive back Abdias Corgelas; kicker Greg Joseph (American Heritage-Delray); and punter Ryan Rickel.
Former Owls in Spring League: Any FAU fans who watch the Spring League for former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel’s comeback attempt will see another familiar face, as former Owls quarterback/tight end Tyler Cameron has made the league’s North roster. Cameron, 24, played for the Owls from 2015-16 after transferring from Georgia Tech, recording 41 catches for 509 yards and a touchdown.
Ex-FAU running back Adrian Starling, who played special teams for the Owls in 2015, joins Cameron on the North roster as well.
Spring Football 2018: