Dominique Franks' Words Will Fuel Tim Tebow, Florida Gators

Joe MorganSenior Analyst IJanuary 4, 2009

There are two key qualities of a great player.

One is the player's athletic ability and how efficiently he plays his position on the field.

The other is the ability to leave everything on the playing field, or to disprove one's critics with your performance on the field instead of using words.

While Dominique Franks has picked up on the first quality, he still has much to learn about the second.

When responding to questions about how the Sooner defense would stop Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Franks decided to speak up, instead of saving his retaliation for the matchup with the Gators Jan. 8.

"If you look at the three best quarterbacks in the country, they came from the Big 12," said Franks, referring to Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, and Texas' Colt McCoy.

Franks, however, was not finished after that statement.

"With us being in Florida and playing against Florida, everybody's going to think Tebow should have won the Heisman," Franks said, "but the right person won the Heisman, and we're going to go out there and show everybody the reason why he won it."

Granted, Franks' comments are logical and many agree with his assessment, but it was not his place to say them, especially during the week of the BCS title game.

Up until this point, Oklahoma was winning the mental battle against Florida.

Faced with questions about whether they deserve to be in the BCS Championship Game instead of Texas, the Sooners had plenty of bulletin board material.

However, the comments Franks made about Tebow are a significant game-changer.

Just in case Oklahoma's sophomore cornerback hasn't heard, Tebow thrives on criticism.

Just ask former Florida State linebacker Geno Hayes what happened when he decided to trash talk Tebow.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner accounted for five touchdowns and amassed 353 yards of total offense in a 45-12 Gator victory over the Seminoles.

If that wasn't enough, LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois had the nerve to go after Tebow as well, saying that the Tiger defense would knock him out of the game.

Tebow then proceeded to shred the LSU defense for three touchdowns and 232 yards of total offense in a 51-21 rout of the defending BCS National Champions.

Calling out your opponent is one thing, but calling out Tim Tebow and the Gators takes it to another level.

In addition to providing extra motivation for Tebow, Franks' comments put an even bigger target on the back of Sooners signal-caller Sam Bradford.

Heisman Trophy winners have a record of 1-5 in BCS Championship Games and the fact that Bradford's victory prevented Tebow from winning his second straight Heisman Trophy makes him even more susceptible to the wrath of the Florida defense.

Eventually, Tebow will hear about what Franks had to say about him, but he won't go to the media to respond.

Instead, he will take the field with a vengeance, running over every Oklahoma defender who gets in the way of Florida's second national title in three seasons.

The Sooner defense will need to back up Franks' remarks if they plan on taking the crystal football back to Norman.

Tebow will be leaving everything on the field like the great player that he is.


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