Feleipe Franks has been everything Arkansas could have asked for and more. The Florida grad transfer was brought in to stabilize the quarterback position in Sam Pittman’s first season, and that is exactly what he’s done.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this season hasn’t affected anyone’s eligibility, so Franks could, in theory, return for 2021. Unfortunately, it looks Franks and the Razorbacks will head in different directions.
That’s not a knock on the signal caller. He’s looking to take his game to the next level, and after a few lengthy discussions with Pittman, this looks like the right time. On Tuesday, the Arkansas coach elaborated on that development.
“I think Feleipe has come in here and done what he said he would do for the University of Arkansas. I was so excited to see that he got the invite to the Senior Bowl. I believe that he belongs there. I believe that he’ll do really well there.
“He came here to play well enough to be talked about in the NFL Draft, and now with the Senior Bowl, they’ll be able to see him live, see how strong his arm really is, and get to know him as a person. I think that will also up his draft stock, just getting to know him as a young man. I don’t anticipate him coming back.”
After struggling with consistency and injuries in Gainesville, Franks moved on to Fayetteville during the offseason. He became the team’s starter and ended up having a successful season for the Razorbacks.
In nine games, Franks completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 2,107 yards, 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He averaged 8.9 yards per attempt while adding another 204 yards and another touchdown on the ground.
Franks has the size (6-foot-6, 228 pounds), arm strength and several other physical tools to be successful at the NFL level. Mental processing and consistently going through progressions are areas that he needs to improve, but he has talent that teams can work with.
Hopefully, Franks can create value for himself during the pre-draft circuit. We unfortunately won’t get to see him play his final game in an Arkansas uniform. The Texas Bowl between the Razorbacks and TCU was canceled on Tuesday.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.