“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 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).”

FAU linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair grateful for ‘last hurrah’ with veteran teammates

FAU linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (2) celebrates a defensive stop during the Florida Atlantic University Owls spring scrimmage football game in Boca Raton, Florida on April 22, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — The good news for Florida Atlantic star linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, as he traverses the school’s Boca Raton campus, is that the rising senior is finally being recognized by some of his classmates.

The bad news, if one wants to call it that? Every conversation with Al-Shaair and other students includes them asking him the same question: What is Owls coach Lane Kiffin like?

“That’s the No. 1 question you’re gonna get!” a laughing Al-Shaair told The Post on Thursday.

Al-Shaair, Kiffin, and the rest of the 2017 Owls were honored at halftime of what turned out to be the FAU men’s basketball team’s 79-76 overtime loss to Rice. Al-Shaair and All-American running back Devin “Motor” Singletary (American Heritage) briefly spoke to fans, while wide receiver Kalib Woods gleefully held up the team’s Shula Bowl trophy.

As teammates posed for pictures after the ceremony, Al-Shaair spoke about how happy he was for the team to be recognized after an 11-3 campaign and a Boca Raton Bowl win over Akron. FAU had won a combined nine games from 2014-16 before Kiffin was hired in Dec. 2016. Several outgoing Owls players joined the team for one final reunion on Thursday night.

“Since I’ve been here as a freshman, those guys have been here, so this is like the last hurrah,” Al-Shaair said. “For a final, final last time and they’re going to build their lives. … It was good to see them.”

Given where FAU was only a year ago — not to mention Al-Shaair, who missed all of last year’s spring camp with a labrum injury — the senior linebacker said it was a different feeling to be part of a school-wide celebration like this.

“I think it was more so weird during the season as we were winning (because) it was a new feeling,” said Al-Shaair, who elected to return to FAU for his senior season rather than take a chance by declaring for April’s NFL draft. “Now, it’s something that we want to build the tradition for and the foundation has already been laid down. So if this was a year ago and we were talking about this, I think it’d be pretty weird.”

Al-Shaair and the Owls will begin spring practice on March 20, a 14-practice training camp which will feature visits to Ft. Lauderdale (April 7) and Miami (April 14).

Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic gain advantage as C-USA rivals lose key players

Florida Atlantic Owls senior running back Gregory Howell Jr. (9) breaks off a big run against Bethune Cookman Wildcats in Boca Raton, Florida on September 16, 2017. Howell is one of several key FAU players who will not be back in 2018. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — As Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin continues recruiting potential impact players to South Florida, the second-year Owls coach can take pleasure in one thing.

Unlike some of FAU’s Conference USA rivals, the Owls’ depth at positions of loss should keep Kiffin’s team in contention for a second consecutive conference title. After closing its first season under Kiffin on a 10-game winning streak and having earned top-25 votes in both the AP and Coaches Polls, FAU is losing over 20 players from its 2017 C-USA championship roster.

That’s not to say FAU isn’t losing any important players. Three of the Owls’ starting offensive linemen have exhausted their eligibility, as have running back Buddy Howell, wide receivers Kalib Woods and Kamrin Solomon, and defensive tackle Jeremiah Taleni.

FAU will also have to address its quarterback situation, as 2017 starters Jason Driskel (retirement) and ex-Dwyer star Daniel Parr (transfer) are no longer on the roster. Former Oklahoma recruit Chris Robison is the likely front-runner in a quarterback battle that could also feature former Florida Mr. Football Award winner De’Andre Johnson.

However, Kiffin still returns a notable cast that includes All-American running back Devin Singletary (American Heritage), dynamic wide receiver Willie Wright, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and safety Jalen Young (Seminole Ridge). Singletary, Al-Shaair and Young were all captains in 2017 and each made the all-conference first team.

Two other first team all-conference players — offensive tackle Reggie Bain and cornerback Shelton Lewis — will each be back for their senior seasons. Second-team tight end Harrison Bryant also will look to build upon a strong sophomore season that saw him finish with five receiving touchdowns.

Some of FAU’s conference rivals will not be as fortunate. FAU’s eight C-USA opponents next year are losing a total of 13 players who made either the all-conference first or second team.

Western Kentucky quarterback Mike White is a potential NFL draft pick, joining tight end Deon Yelder and wide receiver Nacarius Fant among those leaving the Hilltoppers. In addition, junior first-team all-conference linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe declared early for the draft.

Marshall quarterback Chase Litton announced earlier this month that he too will declare early for the draft, meaning the Thundering Herd will have to replace both their three-year starting quarterback and their all-conference tight end Ryan Yurachek (47 catches and nine touchdowns). Rising junior Garet Morrell started two games for the Herd in 2016 and is the only quarterback on the roster to have thrown a pass at the FBS level.

When FIU hosts FAU in the Shula Bowl this November, the Golden Panthers will be without their three most dangerous offensive players. Quarterback Alex McGough, running back Alex Gardner and wide receiver Thomas Owens have all exhausted their eligibility.

North Texas loses senior running back Jeffery Wilson, though gunslinging quarterback and reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Year Mason Fine will return for his junior season. Though Louisiana Tech loses all-conference senior cornerback Secdrick Cooper, Bulldogs defensive lineman Jaylon Ferguson decided against the NFL and will stay for his senior season.

The losses don’t only affect the teams FAU will face in conference play. When FAU starts its 2018 season in Norman, Oklahoma, the Owls won’t have to deal with 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, a projected first-round pick in April’s draft.

FAU will close non-conference play against self-proclaimed national champion Central Florida, which lost head coach Scott Frost to Nebraska. Five of the Knights’ nine all-conference first-teamers will not be on next year’s roster either due to graduation or early entry into the NFL Draft.

FAU’s leading receiver Kalib Woods suspended following arrest

FAU wide receiver Kalib Woods (4) during the Florida Atlantic University Owls spring scrimmage football game in Boca Raton, Florida on April 22, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — Less than two months before the start of training camp, Florida Atlantic University has suspended redshirt senior and star wide receiver Kalib Woods indefinitely following an arrest on Tuesday morning.

Woods, who caught 68 balls for 934 yards and a touchdown in 2016, was officially charged with two counts of felony battery and was released on $50,000 bond from Palm Beach County’s Main Detention Center.

Online records show that Woods, a Jacksonville native, was arrested by FAU police and was booked shortly before 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

“We are aware of the matter with Kalib Woods,” FAU released in an official statement Wednesday. “He was suspended from the team on Tuesday and will remain suspended pending the outcome of the charges.”

Chuck King of FAUOwlAccess.com reported Wednesday night that the arrest stemmed from a January incident at a bar involving a female patron. Woods reportedly denied that he was there on Jan. 13, the night that an incident report was filed.

A warrant for Woods’ arrest was issued last month. Court documents state that while Woods can continue to attend classes — FAU’s second summer semester begins June 26 — he is not allowed contact with the victim or witnesses.

In addition, Woods is prohibited from using weapons or social media. As of late Wednesday night, Woods’ Twitter account was deleted, though his Facebook account remained active.

Woods, one of the few remaining players left from Carl Pelini’s first team in 2013, was expected to play a big role for the Owls in 2017. Woods enters the campaign only 52 receptions behind Cortez Gent’s school record and 1,005 behind Gent’s record for receiving yards.

Woods, who will turn 23 in September, served as a captain last season and took part in last week’s satellite camps as a volunteer coach. With a strong senior season in new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles’ scheme, Woods could raise his draft stock and become FAU’s first offensive player selected in the draft since Alfred Morris in 2012.

Now, Woods’ future in an Owls uniform remains uncertain.

Ironically, the team’s official Twitter account released a promotional video on Wednesday featuring Woods along with several other players. The video remained up even after the arrest was made public.

Woods will be due in court on June 27 for an arraignment.