NORMAN — Daniel Franklin counts choosing Oklahoma as his college football destination, then staying there the last five years — throughout a career some might label a disappointment — among the greatest decisions he's ever made.
Bachelor's and master's degrees in hand, the former Sooner linebacker who never started a single game heads to law school grateful for everything college football gave him.
“Even though it didn't turn into a professional career, the character development and the opportunities that have come after that ... I got a free education,” Franklin said. “I got a master's degree. I'm going to law school. It opened up so many doors for me.”
A couple weeks have passed since new Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury's staff declined to renew lineman J.J. Lollar's scholarship, sparking a renewed discussion about the practice.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, speaking to reporters last week in Plano, Texas, during an OU Caravan appearance, said he's never cut a player short purely because he didn't contribute much on the field.
“To me, it's a sad deal if coaches cut players,” Stoops said. “Unless, he's had criminal activity, he's had academic fraud or problems there ... we've never cut a guy short.”
Not even a former three-star linebacker from Mount Airy, Ga., — ranked that year by Rivals as the nation's 24th-best prospect at his position — who played in the 2008 Under-Armour All-American Game before eventually realizing how physically overmatched he was at OU.
“A beautiful kid,” Stoops said of Franklin. “I love the kid. I love seeing him every day and that's college football. We had an awesome experience with the kid, and he created value for our football team.”
Franklin redshirted as a true freshman in 2008, then appeared in 41 games, mostly on special teams, recording only one career tackle. As a senior, he served as the team's long snapper on punts.