Franks to return to Sooners

Updated: December 9, 2009, 8:11 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Cornerback Dominique Franks plans to return for his senior season at Oklahoma while some of his defensive teammates are waiting to make their decisions.

Franks said after practice Wednesday that he had submitted paperwork to the NFL to evaluate where he would be drafted, but he plans to play for the Sooners next season no matter what projection he gets back.

"I'm not worried about it at all," Franks said. "I'm coming back."

Franks was selected to the All-Big 12 second team this season after making 42 tackles and two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown. He was also the Sooners' No. 2 punt returner, behind receiver Ryan Broyles.

Players don't have to decide on whether they'll enter the draft until January, but Franks joined defensive tackle Adrian Taylor in making their minds up early. Taylor said Sunday that he'd be coming back.

"I'm done with it. I'm just focusing on this last game. That's all I'm worried about," Franks said. "I'm not worried about talking to anybody or being at that next level."

The Sooners (7-5) ranked seventh in the nation in total defense and have numerous pro prospects that could decide to leave school early or come back and try to improve their draft positioning.

Also Wednesday, linebacker Travis Lewis said he had submitted paperwork to evaluate his NFL draft standing and defensive end Jeremy Beal said he wouldn't make any decision about his future until after Oklahoma plays Stanford in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.

"I'm thinking about Stanford and getting better every day at practice," said Beal, who was chosen to the All-Big 12 first team. "I'm not thinking about the NFL."

"We've still got one more game and I'll think about that after the Stanford game," he added.

Lewis, a redshirt sophomore, led Oklahoma with 100 tackles this season but said he felt like he made more plays last season when he was voted the Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year. He was a second-team All-Big 12 pick this year after garnering first team honors last year.

"Athletically, I think that I can go to the combine and be one of the best there," Lewis said. "One of the strengths for me is testing well. That's what got me looked at in high school. I played on not a good team, went to one of those little combines and ran the fastest 40 at the combine."

Still, Lewis indicated he'd have to be projected as a first-round pick to leave the Sooners early.

"It'd have to be pretty high. I have high standards for myself and everybody wants to go in the first round to take care of your family for the rest of your life," Lewis said. "Whether it's this year, next year or the year after. I've got two more years to play. I think eventually I'll be there.

"It's all about me and patience -- how patient I am staying here and bettering myself to get to that No. 1, that first round."

After last season's run to the BCS championship game, none of the Sooners' pro prospects left school early. Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, tight end Jermaine Gresham, offensive tackle Trent Williams and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy all opted to return for another season.

Bradford missed all but three games due to a shoulder injury, and Gresham was out the whole season after he hurt his knee in training camp.

"To be honest, you can't really worry about stuff like that," Franks said. "God has his plan already together. Once you make a decision, you've just got to roll with it. You can't worry about if I come back, I've got a chance of getting hurt. You've just got to trust the decision that you make and just go all out."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press