Oklahoma football: Why Daniel Franklin counts coming to OU as one of his greatest decisions

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.
by Jason Kersey Published: June 9, 2013

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.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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