DB Dominique Franks latest Sooner to enter NFL Draft
Junior cornerback Dominique Franks announced his intentions today to enter the NFL Draft in April after playing three seasons for OU.
OU head coach Bob Stoops made the decision public after the coaching staff was notified earlier by Franks, a first-team All-Big 12 selection, that he would forgo his senior year of eligibility and begin preparing for the upcoming NFL combine.
“We wish Dom all the best and I hope at some point that he’ll also be back to complete his degree,” Stoops said.
Franks had five tackles (two solo) in Oklahoma’s 31-27 victory over then No. 19 Stanford in the Brut Sun Bowl Thursday. During the 2009 season the junior had 47 tackles (33 solo), which is tied for the sixth-highest total on the football team. Franks also had a fumble recovery and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
"It's what's best," Franks said. "I can shut down one side of the field and I study and work hard enough to know what's coming. I'm going to start training today to get stronger and make sure all my techniques are great for the [NFL scouting] combine.”
According to NFLDraftScout.com, Franks is rated the fifth-best cornerback prospect.
The announcement comes a little over a month after Franks originally announced he would return to Oklahoma for his final year after a team practice in December, weeks before the Sooners’ matchup with Stanford.
"I'm not worried about talking to anybody or being at that next level,” Franks said. “To be honest, you can't really worry about stuff like that.
“Once you make a decision, you've just got to roll with it. You can't worry about if I come back, I've got a chance of getting hurt. You've just got to trust the decision that you make and just go all out,” he said.
In addition to losing Franks as one of the strengths of the Sooners' secondary, OU also loses the big play potential of Franks as a kickoff and punt returner. Last season he became one of the stars of OU’s defense as he was named to the All-Big 12 second team and totaled 44 tackles (27 solo), four interceptions, one fumble recovery and two touchdowns in 14 games.
Franks joins junior quarterback Sam Bradford and junior defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on the list of Sooners who have already decided to enter the draft early.
Junior running back DeMarco Murray, sophomore linebacker Travis Lewis and junior defensive end Jeremy Beal are among those still considering whether to enter the NFL draft next year. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft in April is Jan. 15.