Returning Franklin has savvy, options

Junior quarterback James Franklin stretches with the team before a practice this summer. Franklin is looking to be more aggressive on offense this season.

Junior James Franklin will try to dodge the question with a big smile and a “yes sir” or a “yes ma’am” response.

Does it mean anything to be considered one of the more elite quarterbacks in the SEC?

“I don't really think about it too much, but I do know this year I want to be better than last year,” Franklin said at Monday’s media day. “There’s always talk about different things and certain players, but that’s something I’m not really worried about … I just want to help the team win and wherever that takes me we’ll go from there.”

Of SEC signal-callers, Franklin is one of 14 on the 64-player Maxwell Award Watch List, given to the country’s best quarterback. In his second year starting under center, after a campaign in which he tossed 2,865 yards for 21 touchdowns and added 981 yards and 15 scores on the ground, Franklin will have a greater hold on offensive coordinator David Yost’s system.

“What you’re doing now is you’re not talking about some of those quarterback base things that you spent last year on and the year before,” Yost said. “Now what you’re doing is you’re able to expand on how you attack coverage. What you can do is put more on his plate because he’s able to get through it faster.”

Franklin will have an array of options at his disposal, ranging from returning seniors T.J. Moe and Ghan McGaffie and juniors Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington to 2011’s consensus No. 1 recruit Dorial Green-Beckham.

“To be honest, I think all of our receiving core could have an impact season this year,” he said. “It’s pretty fun. It’s something that’s enjoyable for me. I know no matter what the play is I can pretty much go anywhere (and know) we’re going to have success with it.”

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