Surprise! A few days ago we brought you the story that the Green Bay Packers' rookie running back Johnathan Franklin would be ineligible for most of the off-season workouts because of UCLA's late exam schedule. Today we have good news for Franklin and for the team moving forward, as he had this nugget of information to tell when he was interviewed by the media at rookie minicamp on Friday:
Johnathan Franklin said he learned today he will be able to participate in OTAs. He graduated last June.— Mike Vandermause (@MikeVandermause) May 10, 2013
This is great news for a rookie who will be looking to make an impact on offense early on in his first season.
What caused the confusion about Franklin was the lack of knowledge by the media that he graduated last year. Now that we know that he did graduate in 2012 and was playing at UCLA last season as a graduate student, we know that he will be able to participate. Datone Jones was in the same position, but his graduation date (also last year) was known before the news about Franklin came to light.
As Mike Sando of ESPN notes, a player who has already graduated is eligible for only the rookie minicamp up until May 13th, but is fully eligible for all future workouts and programs afterwards. Because the Packers' first round of OTAs begin on May 20th, Franklin will be able to participate in every other event on the team's off-season schedule.
This is very welcome news, and hopefully will allow Franklin to be fully versed in the Packers' playbook when the season begins.