Mizzou's Resident Mr. Nice Guy
COLUMBIA - There's usually a lot of yelling on a football field but don't look for it to come from the Missouri quarterback this year. James Franklin takes pride in controlling his emotions. Now it's his turn to control the Mizzou offense.
James Franklin lives his life a certain way. "Reading the bible everyday, always being respectful, yes sir, no sir, always look the coach in the eye, never talk back, never raise your voice, never hit a girl, always open the door for ladies," said Franklin.
He has uncommon manners and uncommon athleticism, but he says his goal is to blend in with the crowd.
"I meet somebody I'm not going to be like, 'Hey, I'm on the football team, I'm the quarterback,'" Franklin said. "It's just 'how are you doing? Is there any way i can help you out.' Just to be nice."
Franklin says he learned it from his parents. His dad, Willie, is an Evangelist and a former wide receiver at Oklahoma. And James isn't the only passer in the family.
"It was a reverse pass," Franklin said. "It was really cool. His form was a little off. His feet weren't good and shoulder wasn't around, but he got it there and it was good."
James Franklin follows two of the best quarterbacks in Missouri football history. Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert are both larger than life figures at Mizzou, but James isn't worried about following in their footsteps.
"The next in line," Franklin said, "it may be me it may not, but that's something I'll focus on later on because I worry about the here and now. It goes through my mind, but I try not to think about it too much."
"I think every quarterback, every tight end, every receiver plays in a big shadow," Missouri wide receiver Wes Kemp said. "Every linebacker with Sean Weatherspoon, every d-end, everybody here at the University of Missouri plays in a shadow."
Some Tigers have seen all three of the quarterbacks up close, few with a better seat than current back-up Jimmy Costello.
"Blaine, Chase. He's kind of a combination of all of them. Just his mentality. Their game styles are a little bit different, but he's his own person," Missouri senior quarterback Jimmy Costello said.
"Chase was the easiest ball to catch," Missouri senior wide receiver Brandon Gerau said. "Blaine had the strongest arm and James is the nicest guy I've ever met in my life."
"It means a lot because that's what I want to be seen as," Franklin said. "Not a great football player, but a great person or even a great christian example."
But Franklin admits he's not perfect. Last year police caught him speeding.
"It was a 35," Franklin said. "I was driving down 37, 38 and I heard police sirens. I looked back and pulled over. 'You know how fast you were going?' 'No sir, 35?' '37.'"
Not perfect but pretty close.
In 2010, James Franklin played in ten Missouri football games. He rushed 23 times for 116 yards and 2 tds. He also completed 11-14 passes and another score through the air.