From the OC Register:
As UCLA sophomore tailback Johnathan Franklin woke up each morning, he would reach for a football, squeeze it tight, and hold it close for the remainder of the day, his most prized possession and a painful reminder of a promising season he let slip away.
"I carried it to class. I carried it to workouts," Franklin recalled before UCLA's opening preseason practice Monday. "I took it everywhere."
Franklin's teamates tried to strip the ball from him, but to no avail.
So Franklin made holding onto the ball his top priority, toting it around the clock in the offseason, constantly on guard. He had to be on his toes because UCLA defensive players were instructed to try and sneak up on Franklin and strip him if they saw him on campus. If a defender was able to deliver a lost ball to one of the Bruin offensive linemen, Franklin had to do 200 extra up-down exercises at the next workout.
"They tried all day, every day," Franklin said. "But they never got it."
Franklin was averaging five yards a carry before fumbilitis sent him to the bench. Jetski, as he is known, showed great potential as a Freshman, averaging 4.5 per carry 5 touchdowns, including a 74 yard burst against Cal. CRN hopes he has learned to hold on to the football so he can reach his potential.
"Johnathan's well aware that while he thinks he has tremendous promise as a back and has certainly shown the ability to be great, we can't afford for him to be in the ball game if he can't take care of the ball," Neuheisel said.
Go Jetski. Go Bruins.