Decisions, decisions

Two key pieces to UCLA’s 2012 plans – junior running back Johnathan Franklin and junior defensive end Datone Jones – said they would evaluate their futures next week, as both are considering the NFL Draft.

Franklin narrowly missed a second-straight 1,000-yard season, finishing with 976 yards on 166 carries with five touchdowns, while Jones was plagued by inconsistency and finished with just three sacks and 6.5 tackles-for-loss.

“I’m not really sure what I’m going to do, to tell you the truth,” Jones said. “There’s a big chance I may come back. I don’t really know yet. I’m just being honest. It would be in my favor to come back, but I think I can make it, and we’ve got guys on the next level.”

Jones said that he expects to receive his draft evaluation next week, but Franklin said he did not file for his evaluation.

“I got God,” the devout Franklin said. “Only God knows. If I do leave and have a good combine or pro day and everything will fall into place.”

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  • 909Bruin

    they both NEED to come back….

  • gilligan

    As a USC fan with no incentive for UCLA’s success I would strongly recommend both players to return back and get their degrees. Franklin fumbles too many times to get drafted and Jones is overrated and unable to rush the QB without a strong interior lineman. I doubt Jones will be able to rush the QB against NFL caliber players.
    I have no idea why either player thinks they are NFL ready considering that they have a lot of drawbacks then potential ability. A UCLA degree is a good thing to earn and I hope they don’t take that opportunity for granted.

  • Class of 07

    I actually don’t really care if they come back or not…all I know is that if they leave, their UCLA careers will be remembered as underachieving and inconsistent. I highly doubt that’s anywhere on their minds. Jetski–you had some great games for us, but we mostly remember your costly fumbles and the fact that you can’t run on a team that has a stout front 7 (Illinois, for example)…so I don’t really care if you decide to leave as I doubt you’d make it to the next level. Same applies to Jones–you have more physical tools than some of our former DEs (Ex: Hickman), but you’re horrible at applying pressure…

    I REALLY hope RB Malcolm Jones works his way to become a feature back next season…as well as the other talented but under-used players that we have. Mora needs to unleash these beasts.

  • Mel Kiper, Jr.


    I guess January 1st is replacing April 1st this year for these young men.

    So let me get this straight…here are two thumb-sucking juniors in Franklin and Jones, probably rated in the 3rd tier at best of their respective positions, who are afraid that their new coach will make them become more disciplined players working within a pro system, and they’re evaluating their futures and are considering the NFL Draft.

    I come in contact with some bat-shit crazy, overly self-absorbed players, but they tend to be at least 1st teamers in their respective Conferences. At least Franklin was an Honorable Mention…along with 4 other RBs, three of which were fellow-South Conference players.

    Guys, with the play you both exhibited against the tenacious 7-6 Fighting Zooks, I suggest you get more seasoning and maturing before venturing out into the deep end of the pool.

  • The Wall is the Soul

    Regarding Datone Jones, please leave. I have never seen a player talk himself up so much, and produce so little. Just yesterday, he was going on and on about he was going to impress the new coach–with the predictable result of doing nothing of the sort. Put a sock in it Datone, and don’t let the door hit your underachieving tail on the way out to biger things. The team would not miss him one bit.

    As for Franklin, I want him to come back, as he is actually rather talented RB. But, he needs to fumble a couple times, and then see what it’s like (with the new regime) to find himself on the bench for a change; it might cure his ball-handling habits.

  • CHill

    Franklin and Jones will leave if they can. It’s doubtful in my mind that they will have the opportunity to “leave.” Better to get your degree, if you can, and added maturity, get stronger, faster, smarter, more disciplined, improve your attitude, become a winner, have integrity…… However, i know you just want the money, it’s so appealing. And maybe i can understand that. You might want to consider:

    “According the the NFL Players Association, the average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years. The players left the NFL for a variety of reasons. These include injury, retirement and being cut by their team.

    Shortest Careers

    The shortest careers among NFL players tends to be those who hit and get hit the most during games and practice. Running backs have the shortest average careers of just 2.57 years. Wide receivers have average careers of 2.81 years. The average career for cornerbacks is 2.94 years.

  • nocampus

    I don’t no about jones but if franklin returns next year and “starts” again next year….Why did we change coaching staffs?

  • Coach Thom

    Sad, but these young men are living in a self-delusional world. There is NO way a pro team would consider taking these players, after what transpired this season and in this Bowl game. Franklin just doesn’t have the power, break-away speed, or agility to make it in the pros. Maybe after another season under Mora…maybe. Jones has been very disappointing. Maybe his injury took the starch out of him, who knows. I can’t see him playing on Sunday anywhere but in his own back yard. Try sticking it out for another year if you’re serious about the NFL.

  • Delirious

    Both will be back next yr.

    Running backs are a dime a dozen and Franklin dosn’t have the game changing speed required.

    Jones couldn’t play defensive end in college and is way tooooo small and weak to play tackle in the NFL.

    2011 has been a rough yr for Bruin Fans. Here’s hoping 2012 is a prosperous year for UCLA fans.

  • BSKB

    Neither is worthy of the NFL just yet. I remember watching MJD play for UCLA and thinking, how is it that the press doesn’t see what the UCLA fans see? I look at Franklin and wonder, how doesn’t he see what the UCLA fan sees? I’d love that the truth were something different, but neither is NFL ready and it’s a big question if they will be in a year.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Bummerski, NFL GM’s are lining up for running backs w/ 29 net yard bowl games, a history of game breaking fumbles, and always a shoestring short on big run opportunties. Maybe they’ll raise the number to make room for Mr Irrelevant in the draft fer ye…

  • Jon, you left out the part where you say “April Fools!”
    Say what you will about Barkley, I admire that he’s willing to turn down a first round draft selection and the millions that come with it for one more year of college.
    On the other end of the spectrum we have Franklin and Jones. Neither of these guys will likely be drafted, and certainly not in the first three or four rounds. This is what’s wrong with UCLA football.

  • anon

    Franklin is a prototypical NFL RB if he didn’t have the fumbling problem which sends a big red flag to NFL teams. if you fumble this much in college, how can you handle the bigger/faster/stronger guys of the NFL? Otherwise, his speed is great, his acceleration is great, and he has good juking ability.

    Datone Jones? step away from the kool-aid. his only possible shot is if he’s the combine workout phenomenon who flames out when he actually hits the NFL field. remember Matt Jones? Mike Mamula?