FAU’s De’Andre Johnson, John Franklin III, Tim Bonner featured on Netflix’s ‘Last Chance U’ special

De’Andre Johnson throws during spring football practice at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton on March 22, 2018. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Present at the 2017 Birmingham Bowl to watch former East Mississippi teammate Dakota Allen and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Florida Atlantic defensive end Tim Bonner chuckled at a question from a fan: Is FAU head coach Lane Kiffin “a nut?”

“He just crazy,” Bonner tells the fan. “He’s crazy as a mother——. He fun, but he cool, though. I like him.”

Bonner’s reunion with Allen is one of the features in the new Netflix special “EMCC & Life After.” The special serves as a spin-off of “Last Chance U,” the critically acclaimed documentary series about JUCO powerhouse East Mississippi Community College. Former FAU wide receiver John Franklin III was on the series’ initial season in 2016, which detailed the Lions’ 2015 season, while Bonner and current Owls quarterback De’Andre Johnson appeared on the second season, which debuted last July.

After two years at EMCC, “Last Chance U” moved to Independence College (Kan.) for the third season. To coincide with the new season’s premiere, Netflix also released an hour-long episode serving as a “where are they now?” special for some of the key characters from the first two seasons.

Johnson signed with FAU in Dec. 2016, shortly after the school hired Lane Kiffin. Bonner signed with the Owls two months later and Franklin, who joined Auburn after his stint at EMCC, transferred to the Owls in August.

“It’s been a magical season, I can honestly say that,” Johnson says. “Team going from 3-9 for the past three seasons and just having Coach Kiffin come in, change the whole identity, the whole culture.”

Roughly seven minutes are dedicated to the three stars, detailing their 2017 seasons and their love of Kiffin. Though they were both viewed as transfers who could provide immediate impacts, Johnson missed most of the season with blood clots and Bonner was mainly a special-teams player. After switching from quarterback to wide receiver, Franklin caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, adding 229 yards and two scores on 16 carries, mostly as a Wildcat quarterback.

Johnson was surprised when he learned Franklin was transferring to FAU, a move that came less than a month before the Owls began their season against Navy on Sept. 1.

“I’ve watched him go through being in Florida State’s quarterback room to going to East Mississippi’s quarterback room, to then going to Auburn,” Johnson says. “And so when John went to receiver, I’m like, ‘How is he taking this?'”

“For my last year, I just really wanted to get a little experience before I got into the next level,” says Franklin, who signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent and will attempt to play cornerback in the NFL. “I ultimately knew if I wanted to play at the next level, I was going to have to make that change. I wanted to do it now before I got into the next level and it’s too late.”

Other topics explored in the special include former EMCC academic counselor Brittany Wagner’s 10 Thousand Pencils foundation, Lions coach Buddy Stephens celebrating a 2017 National Championship, Allen’s redemption at Texas Tech, and running back Isaiah Wright’s legal issues. Wright is currently in jail for his ties to a 2017 homicide in Tennessee.

Currently fighting Oklahoma transfer Chris Robison for the starting quarterback job, Johnson praised Kiffin as a “dynamic play-caller.” Both Johnson and Bonner, who was one of the defense’s top players this spring, are expected to have major roles for the Owls this season.

As he did while at EMCC, Bonner steals the show with one-liners, comparing Franklin at one point to the popular cartoon character, Franklin the Turtle. While signing an autograph for a fan, Bonner makes reference to his nickname “Slim Boogaloo” and poses with young fans of the show.

“It’s cool to go to another state and city and they know who I am,” Bonner said. “I ain’t ever think it would come up like that, but they be real-deal liking me or something. It’s different, but I’m still myself, like I ain’t changed nothing.”

[Heisman in Paradise: FAU places billboard of star running back Devin Singletary on I-95]

[FAU coach Lane Kiffin: “What’s the most important thing? Long-term health, or how the game looks?”]

[Will Florida Atlantic find quarterback of future in either De’Andre Johnson or Chris Robison?]

[Beyond Devin Singletary, how good can Florida Atlantic’s running backs be this year?]

[Rising star sophomore Willie Wright headlines deep Florida Atlantic wide receiver core]

[After impressive 2017 season, junior Harrison Bryant ready to lead talented FAU tight end group]

[Brandon Walton, Reggie Bain remain steady offensive tackles for FAU amid changing offensive line]

“Last Chance U” star John Franklin III runs 4.40 40-yard dash at FAU Pro Day

Florida Atlantic Owls wide receiver John Franklin III (12) celebrates prematurely as he drops the ball before crossing the goal line against the North Texas Mean Green at the 2017 Conference USA Football Championship at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida on December 2, 2017. North Texas recovered the ball in the end zone. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — There were hopes that wide receiver John Franklin III could post the fastest 40-yard dash time on record at FAU’s Pro Day. Franklin had an impressive showing Tuesday morning, but it was nothing that’ll rewrite the history books.

After allegedly running a 4.19 in a YouTube video last month and running a laser-timed 4.40 (4.32 by hand) in Indianapolis, Franklin again ran a 4.40 on Tuesday. Franklin’s time was the fastest of all participating players, beating fellow wide receiver Henry Bussey III by 0.11 seconds.

The viral video of Franklin’s reported 4.19 40 raised the possibility of the receiver breaking Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross’ record 4.22 time at last year’s NFL Combine. Had Franklin been invited to the NFL Combine and run a 4.40, however, it would have been the third-best time behind only LSU’s D.J. Chark (4.34) and South Florida’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4.37).

“I wish it were better conditions,” Franklin said after his workout concluded. “It would have been an even better time. Everybody was kind of shifting with the wind pushing against us. Overall, I feel like I ran well.”

A quarterback-turned-wide receiver who won a National Championship at Florida State and starred on Netflix’s “Last Chance U” while at East Mississippi Community College, Franklin’s presence and speed drew 26 NFL teams and three Canadian Football League teams to FAU. Franklin also saw action at quarterback and defensive back, playing the latter position for the first time in his life.

Sixteen members of the 2017 Conference USA-winning Owls team, including first-team all-conference offensive linemen Antonyo Woods and Roman Fernandez, participated in the Pro Day. Cornerback Raekwon “Roc” Williams was a late addition to the list, though he did not run the 40-yard dash or do any positional drills. Williams is making his way back from a leg injury that cost him the final three months of his senior season.

The full Pro Day numbers and stats are listed below.

Pro Day numbers posted by FAU players. (FAU)

“All you need is one team to like you,” said Kalib Woods, whose impressive senior season and pro day could make him a potential late-round pick. “Gotta let everyone else do their jobs.”

Woods said he was not worried about how missing the first half of his senior season might affect his draft stock, explaining that teams had four years of tape to watch and use in their evaluation processes. After returning in October from a suspension related to a Jan. 2017 nightclub fight, Woods recorded 24 catches for 619 yards and five touchdowns.

FAU graduates and current NFL players Trey Hendrickson (New Orleans Saints), Cre’Von LeBlanc (Chicago Bears) and Lucky Whitehead (New York Jets) were among the guests in attendance. Former FAU offensive-line coach Garin Justice, who took a job with Arizona in December and is now with UNLV, visited the Pro Day as well.

Though Franklin didn’t post the 40-time he wanted, the fifth-year receiver remained optimistic about his chances of making an NFL roster.

“I just want to be able to show that I can do any and everything, just to sell myself as an athlete,” Franklin said.

Spring Football 2018:

[Former Dwyer star Gerald Hearns rising up FAU RB depth chart]

[Zyon Gilbert, Quran Hafiz headline FAU’s secondary of future]

[FAU running back D’Anfernee McGriff finds unexpected mentor after positional change]

[FAU defensive ends Tim Bonner, Ernest Bagner maturing in second season]

[New-look DeAndre McNeal excited after strong start to FAU camp]

[“Last Chance U” star, FAU quarterback De’Andre Johnson thankful to play after blood clots]

Kalib Woods, “Last Chance U” star John Franklin III headline FAU Pro Day

John Franklin III #12 of the Florida Atlantic Owls runs for a touchdown against the North Texas Mean Green during fourth quarter action on October 21, 2017 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. FAU defeated North Texas 69-31. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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:

[Zyon Gilbert, Quran Hafiz headline FAU’s secondary of future]

[FAU running back D’Anfernee McGriff finds unexpected mentor after positional change]

[FAU defensive ends Tim Bonner, Ernest Bagner maturing in second season]

[New-look DeAndre McNeal excited after strong start to FAU camp]

[“Last Chance U” star, FAU quarterback De’Andre Johnson thankful to play after blood clots]

FAU WR John Franklin III runs 4.32 at combine after posting historic video

John Franklin III #12 of the Florida Atlantic Owls runs for a touchdown against the North Texas Mean Green during fourth quarter action on October 21, 2017 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. FAU defeated North Texas 69-31. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

BOCA RATON — After allegedly running a 4.19 in a practice 40-yard dash, Florida Atlantic receiver John Franklin III’s numbers at the National Scouting Combine fell a bit short of historic.

Franklin and NLAE, the company representing the former “Last Chance U” star, confirmed to The Post that the speedy ex-quarterback ran a 4.32 in Indianapolis. Using laser technology to better gauge his pure speed, as opposed to his reaction time, Franklin instead ran a 4.40.

Franklin’s manager, Eugene Oldridge, said that the wide receiver was not sick or battling any type of injury.

“Just (a) bad time, I guess,” Oldridge wrote in a text.

In a video posted last week, the receiver ran what trainer Travis Shelton called a 4.19 dash, which would break the record set by now-Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross’ 4.22 at last year’s NFL Combine. Franklin’s 4.32 would have been the third-fastest time at last year’s NFL Combine, behind only Ross and Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel (4.31).

In his first year as a wide receiver after moving from quarterback while at Auburn, Franklin caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown while adding 229 rushing yards on 16 carries. Franklin also served as FAU’s backup quarterback for most of the season, though he only threw one pass.

Franklin will have a chance to better that time and come closer to Ross’ record at FAU’s Pro Day on March 27. Franklin told The Post he will run the 40 that day even after partaking in the combine.

Other 40-yard dash times from the National Scouting Combine had not been released at the time of publication.

FAU receiver, ex-‘Last Chance U’ star John Franklin III hoping to star at NFL combine

Florida Atlantic Owls wide receiver John Franklin III (12) celebrates prematurely as he drops the ball before crossing the goal line against the North Texas Mean Green at the 2017 Conference USA Football Championship at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida on December 2, 2017. North Texas recovered the ball in the end zone. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — Referring to former Florida Atlantic wide receiver John Franklin III’s five years in college as a “journey” would be like saying Franklin’s head coach with the Owls, Lane Kiffin, enjoys using social media. It’s a major understatement.

A three-star recruit from South Plantation when he signed with Florida State in 2013, Franklin played two years with the Seminoles — winning a national championship in 2013 as Jameis Winston’s backup — before transferring to East Mississippi Community College, best known for the Netflix series “Last Chance U.” After a year in Scooba, Franklin transferred to Auburn and played quarterback for the Tigers in 2016 before returning home to play for Kiffin’s Owls last August.

“Living it was even more crazy than talking about it,” Franklin told The Post earlier this 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.”

Now, after going viral for allegedly posting a 4.19 40-yard dash time, Franklin is preparing for the National Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and hoping his blazing speed can earn him job in the NFL.

“(I’m just hoping to show) the transition has been expanded upon, that it was working at FAU,” Franklin said. “Whatever I need to play in (the NFL), I can showcase my ability in front of all those top-level scouts.”

In his first year as a wide receiver after moving from quarterback while at Auburn, Franklin caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown while adding 229 rushing yards on 16 carries. After Dwyer alum/quarterback Daniel Parr’s demotion from the starting job in Week 4, Franklin essentially served as the Owls’ backup quarterback and often operated out of a Wildcat formation.

Franklin says he will continue to play wide receiver at the NFL level, so teams may be willing to look past the 23-year-old’s lack of experience at the position and give him a chance based on his speed. Franklin will have a chance at the combine on Wednesday to tie, or even potentially break, the 4.19 time he ran in a video posted last week.

There’s a history of college quarterbacks transitioning into successful NFL wide receivers, with New England Patriots star Julian Edelman having been a starting signal-caller at Kent State. Former Pittsburgh Steelers stars Hines Ward (Georgia) and Antwaan Randle El (Indiana) both played wide receiver in the NFL after spending time under center in college.

“I don’t try to compare — I pick up little things here and there,” Franklin said. “I’m just trying to perfect my best version of myself. … Even when I started playing quarterback, I figured that at the next level, I’d have to play receiver just because of my skill set and my speed, really. That’s appealing to put outside and use in multiple ways.”

Though Franklin was slowly phased out of the receiving game as true freshman Willie Wright emerged and Kalib Woods dominated after returning from suspension, the fifth-year senior remained a viable threat in the offense because of his legs.

Franklin also agreed with recent FAU signees that Kiffin and his staff give him a good chance of making it to the NFL.

“I feel like that’s a very appealing thing and from my experiences at FAU, that was the first time we practiced a similar schedule (to that of pro teams),” Franklin said. “Just the fact that we weren’t always out there practicing, but we were getting work in and I feel like that correlates to how the NFL is now. … This is a great environment, a great atmosphere and this is how (things would be) at the next level.”

“I don’t think my journey was supposed to be easy, clearly,” Franklin said, “but for some reason I’m still where I am today. There’s a reason behind it — and I don’t know it now — but I know it’s a blessing through the struggles and I think all that was preparing me for (now).”