From Three to Two
Senior wide-out Will Franklin is one of the most explosive players in the Big 12. He finished third in the league in receiving last season. But Franklin doesn't focus on the numbers. He plays this season for one number.
It's all about perspective. Will Franklin can think about his team leading 829 yards receiving. Or the injured shoulder that forced him to the last three games of the 2006 season.
"Last year was a great year for me, even with the injury. I learned a lot sitting back and watching the game and understanding that a lot of things can be taken away from you," said Will Franklin, Missouri senior Wide Receiver.
Perspective gained on the sidelines is helping Franklin in the game of life.
"Next to my daughter. That's the next thing that comes up in my mind. It's crazy. I still get the chills now even when I talk about that day," said Franklin.
That day is February 24, 2007. The day Franklin's fellow St. Louis native Damien Nash hosted a charity basketball game.
"D.D. used to think he was a basketball player and in AAU we used to play against him and as we got older, we grew closer," said Franklin.
Closeness they shared a final time, because after the game, the former Tiger and current NFL running back collapsed and died.
"He was doing something that he loved for his brother. Anytime I think I'm tired or want to give up. I just dig," said Franklin.
"D.D. was so close to everybody and making sure everybody and just making sure everybody was comfortable. I think will has kinda taken that over. Just trying to be close to everybody and help people out," said Tony Temple, Missouri senior Running Back.
Franklin's taken something else over from Damien. The number on his jersey, from three to two.
"I made a name for myself with three and it was a tough decision to just switch your number what's your reason for it and I had a good enough reason to switch it,' said Franklin.
To honor a friend and a former Tiger. In his senior season. Franklin isn't worried about the scouts finding him in his new number. Neither are his teammates.
"I don't think anybody can stop him in the big 12. I'll say that to anybody. I think he's going to be big this year," said Temple.W
hen you ask him about his goals for the season. Franklin doesn't mention wins or touchdowns. He has a new perspective. He doesn't just play this season for number one...he's playing for number two.
"Be a great person. That's what he was. He was a great person always joking and laughing. That's what I want to bring to the table for the team this year," said Franklin.