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Dunbar leaving early for NFL Draft

Simpson transferring for more playing time

December 19, 2007 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Head Football Coach Rick Stockstill announced today that junior tackle Franklin Dunbar would be foregoing his final collegiate season to enter this spring's NFL Draft. The 2008 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 26-27.

"Franklin is leaving early in hopes of helping provide for his mother who is having financial problems," said Stockstill. "I have the utmost respect for Franklin on the way he has handled this entire process. He knows he would be a much better player by coming back for his final season and hates letting down his teammates.

"He is all his mom has and feels like he needs to help her now. We looked at every angle through the NCAA framework so he could play his final season but it just was not possible."

Dunbar, a first-team All-SBC pick in 2007 and a second-team selection in 2006, started all 12 games for the Blue Raiders last year at left tackle and led all linemen with 840 snaps. The Waycross, Ga., native played 80 or more snaps in three straight games during the season and ended his career having started in 30 straight games.

In another development, reserve quarterback Salin Simpson has decided to transfer in hopes of getting more playing time. Simpson, a redshirt freshman in 2007, played in just one game during his Blue Raider career. The Lexington, Ky., native had one pass attempt in a win over Florida International while rushing four times for four yards.

"Salin simply wants to get on the field quicker than what the opportunity here would present," added Stockstill.

"These are two great individuals and we wish them the very best in their future endeavors."

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