James Franklin (quarterback)

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James Franklin
No. 8     Toronto Argonauts
Born: (1991-07-23) July 23, 1991 (age 27)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Career information
CFL statusInternational
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight225 lb (102 kg)
High schoolCorinth (TX) Lake Dallas
Career history
As player
2014Detroit Lions*
20152017Edmonton Eskimos
2018–presentToronto Argonauts
* Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career stats

James Franklin (born July 23, 1991) is an American professional Canadian football quarterback for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at Missouri. He was the Tigers' starting quarterback from 2011 to 2013. He has also been a member of the Detroit Lions (NFL) and Edmonton Eskimos (CFL).

Early years[edit]

Franklin attended Lake Dallas High School in Corinth, Texas.[1]

He was rated the #4 Dual-Threat Quarterback in the country by Rivals.com.[2]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
James Franklin
Corinth, TX Lake Dallas 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 218 lb (99 kg) 4.6 Mar 14, 2009 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 76

College career[edit]

As a freshman in 2010, Franklin was the backup to Blaine Gabbert. He played in 10 games, completing 11 of 14 passes for 106 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 116 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns. He became the starter in 2011 after Gabbert entered the 2011 NFL Draft.[3]

As a sophomore in 2011, Franklin started all 13 games for Missouri, leading them to an 8–5 record. He completed 63.3% of his passes for 2865 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He also rushed 217 times for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns.[4] Franklin led Missouri to a number of comeback victories, erasing a 14-point deficit against the Texas A&M Aggies[5] and the Texas Tech Red Raiders,[6] and a 10-point deficit against the Kansas Jayhawks.[7] Franklin also led Missouri to its first win over the Texas Longhorns since 1997.[8]

Franklin was named MVP of the 2011 Independence Bowl after leading Missouri to a 41–24 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels, accounting for 274 total yards of offense and 3 touchdowns.[9]

On March 19, 2012, it was announced that Franklin would have surgery on his throwing shoulder but he was expected to recover in time for the start of the regular season.[10] He returned for the start of the season, but battled injuries throughout the season, appearing in only nine games. He finished the season with 1,562 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

As a senior in 2013, Franklin appeared in 10 games, missing four due to injury. He finished the season with 2,429 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. In his final college game, he helped lead the Tigers to a victory in the 2014 Cotton Bowl.[11]

Professional career[edit]

Detroit Lions[edit]

Franklin went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. However, on May 10, 2014, the Detroit Lions signed Franklin to a rookie free-agent deal. On August 25, 2014, he was released.[12]

Edmonton Eskimos[edit]

According to his Twitter account, Franklin signed in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Edmonton Eskimos on April 10, 2015. Franklin began the 2015 CFL season as the number 3 quarterback on the depth chart; behind Mike Reilly and Matt Nichols. In two preseason games, Franklin completed 26 of 40 pass attempts for 316 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. In his next two seasons in Edmonton, Franklin would only sparingly see action as he continued to back-up Mike Reilly. In three seasons with the club, Franklin attempted 176 passes, completing 116 of them for 1,449 yards with 12 touchdowns and only one interception.

Toronto Argonauts[edit]

On December 12, 2017, Franklin was traded by the Eskimos (along with a 2018 third round pick) to the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for national offensive lineman Mason Woods.[13] Franklin was a pending free agent and needed to be re-signed by the Argos prior to February 13, 2018; which the Argos accomplished on January 5, 2018 when they signed him to a two-year deal.[14] Franklin was brought in by the Argos to be an understudy to veteran quarterback Ricky Ray for his final season, before taking the reins in 2019: However, Ray suffered a nasty spinal injury in Week 2, ending his season (and possibly his career), accelerating the Argos timeline with Franklin making him the starting quarterback in Week 3.[15] Nevertheless, after a poor performance in Week 7 Franklin was demoted to backup quarterback behind McLeod Bethel-Thompson.[16] Bethel-Thompson won his first two starts, but was ultimately unable to lead the Argos to the playoffs, and with the team eliminated Franklin returned to the starting role in Week 18.[17] Both quarterbacks finished with the same starting record of 2-6 as the Argos limped to a 4-14 last place finish. As a short yardage quarterback, Franklin tied a CFL record held by Doug Flutie of most rushing touchdowns in a season, with 14.

Career statistics[edit]

  Passing   Rushing
Year Team GP GS Comp Att Pct Yards TD Int Rating Att Yards Avg Long TD
2015 EDM 17 2 84 133 63.2 973 6 1 97.1 16 140 8.8 33 1
2016 EDM 18 1 19 24 79.2 334 4 0 158.3 1 1 1.0 1 0
2017 EDM 18 0 13 19 68.4 142 2 0 125.3 1 4 4.0 4 0
2018 TOR 18 6 187 286 65.4 2034 8 9 82.4 78 365 4.7 44 14
CFL totals 70 11 303 462 65.6 3,483 20 10 93.5 96 510 5.3 44 15


  1. ^ "James Franklin Profile". mutigers.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  2. ^ "James Franklin". Rivals.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  3. ^ "QB James Franklin makes debut as Missouri starter". The Sporting News. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "James Franklin Stats". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  5. ^ "Missouri Tigers v. Texas A&M Aggies". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  6. ^ "Texas Tech Raiders vs. Missouri Tigers". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  7. ^ "Missouri Tigers vs. Kansas Jayhawks". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Gregorian, Vahe. "Mizzou beats No. 21 Texas 17–5". stltoday.com. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Reeves, Jen. "Mizzou Beats North Carolina in Independence Bowl". KOMU. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  10. ^ Fornelli, Tom. "Missouri's James Franklin to have shoulder surgery". CBSSports. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  11. ^ Henry Josey runs for 3 TDs as Mizzou outlasts Oklahoma State
  12. ^ Lions continue roster trim
  13. ^ "Argos acquire rights to QB James Franklin in trade with Eskimos - CFL.ca". CFL.ca. 2017-12-11. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  14. ^ "Argos officially sign Franklin through 2019 - CFL.ca". CFL.ca. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  15. ^ "With Ricky Ray down, Toronto Argos look to QB Franklin to lead way against his former team". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  16. ^ "Argos QB James Franklin loses starting gig after slow start | CBC Sports". CBC. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  17. ^ "2018-10-12 Game Tracker - Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Toronto Argonauts (2531) - CFL.ca". CFL.ca. Retrieved 2018-10-23.

External links[edit]