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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 30, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 28Apr00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

RM Frank Joins Eagles
Allentown PA Morning Call 28Apr00 S2
By Terry Larimer: Call Sports Columnist

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- Returned missionary John Frank, selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the NFL's draft from the University of Utah, arrived this week for the Eagles' spring minicamp at Veteran's Stadium. The Morning Call singled out Frank and another draftee, fourth-round pick Gari Scott, for particular attention because of the difficulties and effort it took for them to get to the NFL.

The press met the recruits at a press conference yesterday, and press could see that the Eagles' strategy of recruiting people of quality character was paying off. But reporters also reserved judgement on the strategy until they see the scoreboard in the upcoming season.

In the meantime, Morning Call columnist Larimer was impressed with Frank, who acknowledged at the press conference that serving a mission probably jeapardized his chances of making it to the NFL. Frank served as an LDS missionary in Madrid Spain for two years after high school and before attending the University of Utah.

All told, it took Frank seven years to make the NFL, "I had a seven- year plan to do this," he told the press. "This is something I wished for since my childhood." But Frank hinted that the mission, where he arrived knowing little spanish in a town described as "as tough as his new home [i.e., Philadelphia]." During his mission, Frank lost 10 pounds to 205 and his only work outs were "Rocky stuff" like push-ups or sit-ups.

But his mission did lead to one negative consequence. After seeing a lot of bull fights in Spain, Frank liked them so much that he tried a mechanical bull after returning to the U.S. He injured himself in the groin, and forcing him to miss some games.

After his mission, a year as a redshirt and four more on Utah's varsity, Frank was 26, an age that might be considered more typical of NFL veterans than draft choices, "I think my age hurt me definitely," he said.

Frank was also hobbled by the fact that Utah isn't very well known among NFL scouts. But he made up for that by being something of a wonder at the annual Scouting Combine, where many NFL teams get a chance to look at potential draftees. His performance was one of the top two among defensive ends, including pushing a 280 pound blocking dummy over 40 yards in a little more than 4.6 seconds.

Frank may also have benefited from the fact that the Eagles' coach, Andy Reid is an LDS Church member. It is Reid, and the misconduct among Eagles players before he joined the team, who is behind the Eagles' attempt to recruit "quality character" in players.


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