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
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
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,"
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.