Franklin, Thomas give Troy wildcat options
Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
By Danielle Percival
If quarterback Deon Anthony is unable to return this season, Troy could have a temporary QB2 in Khary Franklin.
Franklin is a running back for the Trojans but played quarterback in high school and tossed his first career touchdown pass Thursday night.
The touchdown came late in the second quarter on a play where Franklin took the handoff from quarterback Corey Robinson to the right side, pulled up and tossed it to wide receiver B.J. Chitty.
That is the second ball Chitty has caught from a non-quarterback this season with the first coming on a 2-point conversion against Western Kentucky from the hands of Eric Thomas.
According to offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield, there’s no question which passer has the edge.
“Eric Thomas is way better than Khary,” Edenfield said. “When Khary threw that ball I went, ‘Oh no…yes!’ because it looked like that thing floated for about six days up there, but he really did a good job of doing what we asked him to do.”
“Mine just sat in the air for a little while. I wasn’t sure it was going to get down to Chitty actually,” Franklin said. “I was running back to the sidelines. I turned around and everybody was cheering, so then I ran to Chitty.”
Thomas has no problem taking the nod as the better thrower and claims he could challenge just about anyone on the team.
“Outside of the quarterbacks, I think I’m the best thrower,” Thomas said. “I mean, [Khary] did play quarterback in high school but he ran wing-T. He’s got a little arm on him.”
The two opportunities these players have had to toss a pass in a game have come in the red zone, but both claim they’ve got the arm to get it down field.
“A drop back, [I can get it] probably about 50 yards in the air.” Franklin said.
“I can sling it pretty far,” Thomas said. “I can go over 50, probably about 60 or 65.”
Though these two can talk a good game, neither is asking for a spot on the depth chart at quarterback.
“I can’t sit back there in the pocket,” Thomas said. “I’d rather run routes.”
“We both know, we’re not a QB,” Franklin said. “We just want to make a play for the team.”
It turns out the competition between these two isn’t limited to the field; it also carries over when these roommates head back to the house.
“Me and Eric talk about video games most of the time. Who’s better in madden football,” Franklin said. “I beat him. I don’t even have the game and I beat him, so that’s pretty bad on him.”
“I don’t even want to talk about that. Most of the time, he beats me pretty bad,” Thomas said. “I try to get him back sometimes, but it never happens.”
What also seemingly never happens is a complete game of Madden.
“I quit the game before he runs it up,” Thomas said. “Once he gets to 21, I just quit and we start another one.”
Thomas, Franklin and the rest of the Trojans travel to Ole Miss on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. From Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.