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Franklin to be honored as UCLA’s 2020 Young Alumnus of the Year

May 18, 2021
Johnathan Franklin is the leading rusher in UCLA history.

Bruin football standout Johnathan Franklin will be honored on Saturday, May 22 as UCLA's 2020 Young Alumnus of the Year in a virtual ceremony to be held at 5 p.m. PT.

Franklin completed his UCLA football career in 2012 as the leading rusher in school history with 4,403 yards and at the top of the Bruin all-purpose yards list with 4,925 yards. After helping to lead UCLA to the 2012 Pac-12 Championship Game, he was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2013 NFL Draft. Sidelined by injury, his dream became a series of challenges. Unwilling to give up, Franklin returned home to Los Angeles where he inspires young people to pursue dreams of their own. Affectionately known to Bruin fans as "The Mayor," he represents the best of UCLA.

A native of South Los Angeles, Franklin was a standout scholar and athlete at Dorsey High School. Awarded an athletic scholarship to UCLA, he established himself as one of the top college running backs in the nation from 2009-2012. Franklin racked up the seventh-most career rushing yards in Pac-12 history. Franklin was drafted by the Packers for the 2013-14 NFL season, the first step towards what was expected to be a significant NFL future. In Week 12 of his rookie season, Franklin suffered a serious neck injury which forced him to retire. Although he had always had aspirations beyond football, the injury forced him to reinvent himself.

Franklin found a way to move on, while remaining involved in a meaningful way with the sport and spirit of football. As the current manager of Community Affairs and Engagement for the Los Angeles Rams, he uses the power of football to develop young people into future leaders. Franklin shares his story as a way to inspire others to create the future they want for themselves. Working with the Rams, he promotes unity throughout the city, and brings hope to neighborhood children who see their future in him.

Visit the UCLA Awards website for the program schedule, information about recipients and the program's history as well as to register to view the event. Please register by Thursday, May 20, 2021. Space is limited. For event and registration questions, please contact

To watch the event, please RSVP and register at the link below.


Johnathan Franklin Awards bio
UCLA Awards page