UCLA Football: Comparing Johnathan Franklin to Maurice Jones-Drew

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UCLA Football: Comparing Johnathan Franklin to Maurice Jones-Drew
Harry How/Getty Images

When Johnathan Franklin takes the field against the Baylor Bears in the Holiday Bowl, it will be his final game in a UCLA uniform.

The redshirt senior from Los Angeles' Dorsey High has had an amazing career in Westwood, leading the Bruins back from the abyss that was most of the past decade.

Now, as "The Mayor" prepares for his last hurrah, it's interesting to consider how he compares to other great Bruins running backs.

Franklin's most relevant UCLA contemporary is Maurice Drew, or as NFL fans know him, Maurice Jones-Drew.

Before emerging as a superstar for the Jacksonville Jaguars, MJD was an all-conference, all-American selection in college, leading the Bruins to a 10-2 mark in his final season (2005).

Jones-Drew set a multitude of records, both school and league-wide, on the way to UCLA's best season since 1998 when Bob Toledo took the Bruins to the Rose Bowl.

Flash forward to 2012 and Johnathan Franklin is having similar success in his final year of NCAA eligibility.

After three seasons of frustrating mediocrity under former head coach Rick Neuheisel, Franklin helped UCLA to its best record since MJD's last season, reaching the nine-win mark and barely missing out on the Rose Bowl.

In the process, Franklin has broken a number of UCLA records, including the mark for most career all-purpose yards, previously held by Jones-Drew.

So how do the two Bruins backs' strangely parallel careers stack up side-by-side?

Read on for an in-depth comparison of Johnathan Franklin and Maurice-Jones Drew, looking at their relative successes while wrecking it in Westwood. 

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