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UCLA football must replace Johnathan Franklin, Jeff Locke

UCLA Bruins running back Johnathan Franklin and punter and kicker Jeff Locke will be two of the more irreplaceable seniors the team will lose this offseason.


The UCLA Bruins football team is headed into the 2012 Holiday Bowl, but they must also prepare for the end of the Johnathan Franklin era. Franklin's success in 2012 was the engine of a UCLA offense that won nine games on the year and captured the Pac-12 South.

Franklin rushed for over 1,700 yards and over 4,300 yards in his career with the Bruins. His production will be tough to replicate. Although Damien Thigpen, sophomore Jordon James and freshmen Steven Manfro & Paul Perkins are capable candidates, they'll have a lot to live up to in trying to replace what Franklin did for them.

Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times files this report that has offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone giving his assessment of how the running backs will work next season.

"Jeez, let me get one last game with him," offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said when asked how he would replace Franklin. "It will be like Cindy Crawford divorcing you. How are you going to replace her?"


"It's going to be more running back by committee next season," Mazzone said.

The next big deal will be replacing Jeff Locke. Locke has been one of the team's best punters and has capably handled kickoffs as well. His replacement has yet to make it on campus.