Mizzou’s quarterback — James Franklin — was also bitten a time or two. He admits now that all of the bumps, bruises, sprains and strains go to his head:
“There was always something to deal with. But the biggest think was I let it affect me mentally more than physically. Yes, it hurt. I was prevented from doing some things physically. But for the most part it was more a mental thing for me. I’d worry if there was going to be pain on this throw, pain on that throw. I wasn’t as strong mentally as I am now. I really let it affect my game and how I played.”
This admission likely won’t sit well with some Tiger fans who already believed Franklin to be too soft. Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel did his quarterback’s reputation no favors last year when he revealed post-Arizona State game that Franklin turned down a painkiller shot.
According to Pinkel at the time: “It was just too painful for him, and he didn’t want to play. He said, ‘It hurts too much. I can’t play.’”
Now out from under the bus where Pinkel tossed him, Franklin is healthy again and hoping to regain his 2011 form. His 296.4 yards-per-game of total offense in ’11 would have placed him fourth on the SEC’s list in 2012.
For Missouri’s sake — and for the sake of seeing another good athlete on SEC fields this fall — here’s hoping Franklin’s body and mind hold up to a new season of wear and tear.