The UCLA offense’s most-missed departure is busy bumping his NFL stock. Yesterday, Johnathan Franklin finished in 4.49 seconds, ahead of Oregon’s Kenjon Barner and behind only three other tailbacks at the NFL Combine.
Not a bad follow-up to a season that ended with All-American and Doak Walker finalist honors. What will the Bruins do next fall without their all-time career rushing leader?
In Andy Staples’ SI.com story, quarterback Brett Hundley weighed in.
Hundley might be a bit biased since he played with redshirt freshman tailback Paul Perkins at Chandler High in suburban Phoenix, but Hundley believes Perkins has the tools to be the next great UCLA back. “He’s under the radar a lot,” Hundley said. “But I promise everybody that he’s going to be a monster.”
Jim Mora has said he expects to replace Franklin by committee — Damien Thigpen, Jordon James and Steve Manfro all touched the ball last year — but did name-drop Perkins as a promising player a few times throughout the season. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound back was named to Arizona’s all-state first team as a senior, and also played some safety at Chandler.