Dominique Franks surprised Sooner Nation last month by announcing he was skipping his senior season at Oklahoma to enter the upcoming NFL Draft.
Franks, a two-time All-Big 12 cornerback, was given a third-round projection by the NFL Draft Advisory Committee, but is hoping to raise his draft stock.
He is currently working out with fellow ex-Sooner cornerback Brian Jackson just outside of Los Angeles as the two prepare for the NFL Scouting Combine this month.
→Franks spoke with The Oklahoman
about why he left school early, his favorite Sooner memory and Bob Stoops’ response when Franks revealed he wouldn’t be coming back to OU.
→Trotter: When did you decide you were leaving?
Franks: "I decided after our bowl game, when we came back from El Paso. I sat down with my family. We talked about some of the pros and cons.”
→What were some of the cons of staying?
"Facing the possibility of getting hurt like Jermaine (Gresham) and Sam (Bradford) did. It boiled down to things like that and what I really wanted to do with my football career.”
→So the fact that Sam and Jermaine both came back and were both knocked out for the season played a part in your decision?
"You never really know, I didn’t want to make my decision to come back and halfway play to prevent myself from having an injury. I had four great years at the University of Oklahoma. I felt in my mind I was ready.”
→You told us in December that you were "definitely coming back.” Why did you say that if you didn’t mean it?
"I didn’t want to be the guy that every time I talked to the media that question would be brought up. I wanted to focus on the bowl game and get my first bowl game win here at OU. I wanted my whole focus to be on that bowl game. "
→Other than you, Sam and G.K. (McCoy), were any other underclassmen close to leaving?
"We really didn’t talk about it too much. We wanted to focus on beating Stanford. We didn’t want to worry about the NFL.”
→What about after the bowl game?
"I talked to Travis (Lewis) and DeMarco (Murray) and they told me they were coming back. They asked me the same stuff, the reason I made my decision. But they had their minds made up they were coming back. I pretty much knew that’s what they were going to do.”
→Coach Stoops has said many times he doesn’t believe players should leave early unless they’re projected to go in the first round. So what was his reaction when you told him you were leaving with that not being the case?
"He basically told me the same thing. He wanted me to focus on getting my degree. I took everything he and the other coaches said into consideration. But I had to make the decision best for me at the time.”
→You want to get your degree someday?
"Definitely. I plan on doing that.”
→What round do you hope to be drafted?
"The grade you receive (from the advisory committee) is pretty conservative.