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Packers RB Franklin's journey, from South Central to Green Bay to mayor?

Greg Matzek

Eddie Lacy, Jonathan Franklin. Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Packers RB Franklin's journey, from South Central to Green Bay to mayor?

CREATED Aug. 26, 2013

GREEN BAY - In his first season in the league, rookie running back Jonathan Franklin figures to dazzle with his quick feet and pass catching ability.

But before he even plays a regular season down, Franklin has already earmarked a goal for his post-playing days.

"I will be the mayor...Los Angeles, unless you want me here (Green Bay).  We can make it happen, if it stops snowing," Franklin said to 620WTMJ's Greg Matzek.

A 4th round draft pick from UCLA, Franklin grew up in south central Los Angeles.

It was an environment not always conducive to success..  It's something Franklin wants to change.

"A lot of my friends, a lot of people I grew up with are dead, didn't graduate from high school, are going to jail," said Franklin.

"People making the same mistakes, doing the same things.  All the girls getting pregnant, just not becoming anything in life."

While at UCLA, Franklin completed an internship in the mayor's office that opened his eyes.

"I was in this one meeting, the Chamber of Commerce, and pretty much people in the city would come in, talk about their problems, the things going on in the city," said Franklin. 

"I was listening to them, and when I looked at all the people on the board, it seemed like they didn't even care about the problems the people were presenting.  I just felt there were so many unheard voices.  I said, 'I want to answer those voices.  I want to change this city.  I want to take L.A. to where it needs to be, and I believe I can without a doubt.'  Ever since then - I think it was my sophomore year at UCLA - I committed to that." 

Franklin isn't too eager to finish his playing career.

After all he's just a rookie, but he will be ready for the day he can focus on life after football.

"God knows my plans, and I know it's going to happen at the right time.  I'm going to handle this, and everything is going to take care of itself.  Even if I do great at this in Green Bay, it's just going to be a bigger platform."