Crimson Countdown: LB Aaron Franklin

During the summer, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall, and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.

No. 25 Aaron Franklin, linebacker, 6-foot-1, 226 pounds, senior

Impact thus far: Franklin hasn’t made a major impact but he hasn’t been a complete bust either. He’s played a special teams role for the past three seasons and saw spot duty on defense as a sophomore. Heading into his final season Franklin has 31 career tackles in 34 games played. He’s never started a game for the Sooners.

Impact in 2014: Expect a similar role for Franklin, who should play a special teams’ role and provide depth at linebacker. It would be a surprise to see him get major time on defense after Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans each played bigger roles in 2013.

Long-term upside: If Franklin makes an unforeseen leap forward as a senior, OU’s linebacker group gets even deeper.

Evaluation grade for Franklin: C. While Franklin has never started a game and you’d expect more from a signee, he has been a contributor every single year since his redshirt freshman season and he doesn’t create negative press for the program with off-the-field miscues. Not the ideal evaluation but not horrible either.

Development grade for Franklin: A. Franklin has been given opportunities, particularly during his first two seasons on the field. OU gave him chances to carve himself a role on defense, particularly in 2012, but he never cemented himself a spot in the lineup.