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Mizzou quarterback James Franklin

Quarterback James Franklin emerges from his father’s shadow

Mizzou quarterback James Franklin, left, on the practice field in Columbia, Mo. (Photo provided by University of Missouri Sports)

There’s increasing evidence that James Franklin, starting quarterback for the University of Missouri Tigers, is emerging from the shadow of his famous father — former NFL player turned preacher Willie Franklin.
Early in his career, news stories about the younger Franklin often made mention of the fact that he was the son of Willie Franklin — a former missionary to Papua New Guinea and a popular motivational evangelist among Churches of Christ.
But a recent headline from the website of TV station WBIR in Knoxville, Tenn., reads, “Mizzou quarterback’s father speaks at West End Church of Christ.”
Willie Franklin likely was the happiest person in the room when he addressed the Knoxville congregation. Less than 24 hours earlier, his son led Mizzou to a 51-48 win over the Tennessee Volunteers in 4 OTs.
Here’s what the Associated Press had to say about the younger Franklin’s performance:

Missouri quarterback James Franklin couldn’t do much of anything for much of Saturday’s game with Tennessee. By the end of the day, he couldn’t be stopped.
Andrew Baggett kicked a 35-yard field goal in the fourth overtime period as Missouri rallied from a two-touchdown halftime deficit to beat Tennessee 51-48. But it was Franklin who sparked the comeback, throwing four touchdown passes — all in the final minute of regulation or overtime.
Franklin’s biggest play came in the final minute of regulation.
Missouri (5-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) faced fourth-and-12 when Franklin scrambled around before finding Dorial Green-Beckham all alone in the left corner of the end zone for a game-tying 25-yard touchdown pass with 47 seconds remaining.
“It was pretty funny because right before that, he told me — the defense probably could have seen what he was doing — he put his hand up and he was doing this, this and that,” Franklin said as he motioned how Green-Beckham drew up the route on his hand. “It was funny because that’s what he did, and it worked.”

Read the full story.
And here’s what the quarterback’s father had to say to members of the West End church:

Willie Franklin speaks at the West End Church of Christ in Knoxville, Tenn. (Photo via www.wbir.com)

“The commitment that I learned from football that I could apply in life and try to help other people get more discipline, more self-control, more unified,” said Franklin. “That’s what I learned through sports and playing in the NFL just got my name out there. It opened doors. I wanted to go in those doors and leave a positive influence on people that would last longer than a football game.”

Read the full story.
See our recent Dialogue with James Franklin.

  • Feedback
    I am so happy for this Godly family! We need more dedicated Christians in this old world! I a sick of the behavior of people being so shaky and undisciplined! “Be ye standfast unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord” (ICor. 15:58).
    Jerry Wheeler
    November, 13 2012

    Willie Franklin is an incredible man of the Word. He is very inspiring and i love him. What an inspiration and role model for all people.
    November, 15 2012

    Great examples of what Christians are supposed to be. Greater is he who lives in you than he who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4
    Scott Moore
    November, 15 2012

    I cannot say enough good things about Willie Franklin. He used to come to our church, Highland Oaks, Dallas, Texas, lead singing, and preach, especially to our young people. My fondest memory of him is when he told the kids “Nothing good happens after 9:00 p.m.”
    Willie is an incredible person and inspiration. I would love to see him again.
    Shiela Wilhite
    November, 15 2012

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