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They said it: Auburn coaches and players on John Franklin III

Video: What Auburn coaches and teammates said about QB John Franklin III this spring

Here is a comprehensive look at what Auburn coaches and players had to say about the junior college transfer quarterback John Franklin III. A player fullback Kamryn Pettway described as a beast this spring.
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Here is a comprehensive look at what Auburn coaches and players had to say about the junior college transfer quarterback John Franklin III. A player fullback Kamryn Pettway described as a beast this spring.

Auburn concluded spring practice Tuesday at the university’s athletic complex.

The team’s 15th practice of the spring was closed to the media and coach Gus Malzahn didn’t speak with reporters.

When the Tigers’ coaches and players did take questions this spring, one of the common topics of discussion was junior college transfer John Franklin III.

Here is a comprehensive look (with accompanying video) at what everyone had to say about the quarterback fullback Kamryn Pettway described as a beast.

Freaky Fast (on Franklin’s speed)

“Yeah, John Franklin is the fastest. He's gotta be. I don't know. I've been watching him practice, and we've had two scrimmages. When he gets to the edge... it ain't nothing else.”

Auburn DL Montravius Adams

“We're just trying to get his timing down on the base offense, as far the running game, as far as the passing game. But he's naturally fast. When he takes off running, he's got the 'wow' factor. He can really run. He's competing, and it's been good for all the quarterbacks.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn

“I’ve seen it in film. On the rollout, D-end trying to catch him and he put a little stick move on him and got outside. He’s pretty shifty.”

Auburn WR Tony Stevens

“He's really athletic and really fast. I think he'll be able to do a good job with the zone-read.”

Auburn WR Marcus Davis

“Have you ever seen him? He’s probably at the top of the list too, I’m not sure. We’ve got a whole bunch of speedsters on our team this year. Hopefully they all contribute to us winning.”

Auburn DB Carlton Davis

“That’s a quick person, man, when you can move laterally as quick as he can? You can do special things on the field.”

Auburn RB Jovon Robinson

Passing the test (on Franklin’s arm)

“He has a strong arm. The ball gets to the destination quick. He makes his reads pretty quick. It’s a tough deal for the quarterback. It’s super tough.”

Auburn RB Jovon Robinson

“That's something I think people will overlook with Franklin, because he's more of a runner, I'd say. But he has a really big arm. He can make the big throws.”

Auburn WR Marcus Davis

“He's the type of guy, I think, he knows how to throw the ball in different routes. If it's deep ball, he knows when to put touch on it. If he needs to squeeze it in, he knows when to do that. So I think he's pretty good.”

Auburn WR Marcus Davis

“The ball comes out of John’s hands well. He’s got a strong arm. He can spiral the ball, snap it off pretty good. There’s been a couple things naturally that he’s worked on that I think that has improved a lot from Day 1 until now. The deep ball wasn’t his strength. He can really drive the ball, make all the throws—he can make every throw on the field, but the deep ball wasn’t as natural to him, and we kind of knew that when we recruited him. He’s really improved that, just giving guys a chance. He’s got a big arm; he can throw it a mile, but that doesn’t do us any good if our guy doesn’t catch it. He’s doing a nice job of being more accurate with the deep ball. I just don’t think he had ever been in a system where you’re required to get the ball out of your hands as quick as we’d like to in scenarios, but that’s an area he’s improved. But John can throw the football.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee

Compare and Contrast (on similarities to Nick Marshall)

“I see a lot of similarities. Their quickness, their shifty-ness, their speed obviously to get outside, the arm strength – they both have the same arm strength. I can see some similarities.”

Auburn WR Tony Stevens

“There’s definitely some parts of his skill set that would compare favorably. Not quite as big. Got the speed and quickness. Arm is probably very similar in a lot of areas. We’ll just see. The one thing he’s got is that he’s been here in the spring and Nick didn’t get here until July, but I think Nick has probably played a little more quarterback before he showed up before he showed up maybe than John had. That’s probably just speculation at this point, but there are some things where I could see that comparison being made.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee

Weighty issue (on Franklin’s size)

“If you look at Nick, in the first year he played around the 198 range or 200 and he didn’t take a lot of big hits because of the style player he was, but he still got nicked up a little bit. He had a little bit of a knee at one time and kind of hurt his shoulder one time. He came back in his senior year and was up to about 210 and that 10-12 pounds made a huge difference. He played the whole year and never missed a game and stayed healthy. John has done a good job. He’s probably put 10 pounds on already since he’s been here. I think he’ll put on weight in the summer too. That remains to be seen. There’s been plenty of guys his size play and be okay too.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee

Under pressure (on expectations for Franklin)

“The expectations here, they're high. They're high for all of us. If you can't block those things out and focus in on doing your job, then it's probably going to be tough on you, anyway. So honestly, he and I haven't talked one bit about that. He's done a nice job of really just really diving in and being really focused and trying to learn the system and do a good job and get better each day.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee

“He's still learning the offense. He is eager to learn everything inside and out, but it's a process. We throw a lot at our quarterbacks, and he's trying his best to take everything in. I think he's responding well.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn

Speaking up (on Franklin’s leadership qualities)

“He’s a leader. As soon as he got here he texted all the receivers let’s get it, let’s go throw on his own time and usually the receivers will text the quarterbacks let’s go throw. He texted us and wanted to be there, what he wanted to do and how he wanted it. He’s pretty much a leader in my eyes. On the field, you can see he’s having fun out there. He’s already at home.”

Auburn WR Tony Stevens

“He’s shown so far he’s got a great work ethic. He’s tried to do everything and take advantage of every opportunity he’s had to learn the playbook, learn more about the system, learn the offense and to just improve. I’ve seen positive development there and there’s no question that’s the kind of initiative and leadership we need.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee

A-Day? (on exhibition performance)

“I think he did well. His first time, the offense isn't easy to grasp. I think he's picked everything up pretty good.”

Auburn QB Sean White

“That’s something that all the new guys, not just him - some guys react differently when they get in front of a crowd. I am looking at the whole big picture here on defense, offense and making sure everyone plays. Overall there wasn’t anything that stuck out in my mind about him being out there.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn

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