War Eagle Extra

Auburn QB John Franklin III leaves door open for offseason exit as graduate transfer

Auburn quarterback John Franklin III is ready to throw himself into preparation for whatever bowl game the program lands next week, but beyond that?

The junior college transfer isn’t so sure.

“I'm going to decide at the end of the season and go with my family but right now my plans are to stay here for my fifth year,” Franklin said after Auburn lost 30-12 in the Iron Bowl. “I'll worry about that when the season is over with. I don't want to worry about that right now.

According to Franklin, he is on track to graduate over the summer. The quarterback would be eligible to play immediately for another FBS school as a graduate transfer.

Franklin rotated with fellow backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson for an injured Sean White Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Franklin was 2 of 4 for 85 yards and had three carries for 14 yards.

Much of his production came in the second half when Auburn let the Florida native stay under center for multiple possessions in a row.

It was one of the few times this season Franklin played extended snaps in a competitive situation.

Franklin played in the opener against Clemson and the second half against Texas A&M in early September, but was used sparingly as the offense got on a roll when offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee took over play calling duties a month into the season.

The quarterback’s snaps mostly came during mop-up duty in blowouts and he attempted less than 20 passes this season.

Franklin admitted it wasn’t exactly what he envisioned when he verbally committed to the school in November last year out of East Mississippi Community College.

“Personally? No, but it’s not the first time I’ve faced adversity in my life as many of you know,” Franklin said about the season meeting his expectations. “I know how to handle that and just capture the moment when the moment is there. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life, that’s how I got to this point.”

Franklin previously transferred out of Florida State when it became clear he didn’t have a path to the starting quarterback job.

When asked if he would consider switching positions in the offseason, Franklin didn’t have an answer.

“I don’t know,” Franklin said. “I’d have to address that at the end of the season. That ain’t my focus right now. I ain’t thinking about nothing else but who we got in the bowl game and how I could help my team.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra