Missouri's Franklin ahead of schedule

With June just around the corner, it's sounding more and more promising that Missouri quarterback James Franklin will be back to full strength in time for the start of the 2012 season.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel reiterated Tuesday at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., that Franklin was ahead of schedule in his recovery from shoulder surgery. Franklin missed most of the spring after having surgery on March 23 to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

Pinkel said Franklin had already resumed throwing a Nerf football again, and that all of Missouri's medical personnel expected Franklin to be ready for the Tigers' Sept. 1 opener against Southeastern Louisiana.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Franklin passed for 2,865 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, and also rushed for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Pinkel also said Tuesday that he'd been told that Missouri and Arkansas would play every year beginning in 2013 as cross-divisional foes. In the past, Arkansas' cross-divisional foe from the East had been South Carolina. The Gamecocks will now be paired up with Texas A&M every year from the West starting in 2013.