They don't make them like Clem Franks nowadays.
Part-time running back, part-time tight end, part-time punter, Clem was a standout at Texas A&M-Kingsville in the mid-70s leading to a training camp shot with the Dallas Cowboys in 1978. It didn't work out, but he had made it to the NFL. That was good enough.
Now in 2015, Clem's son, Terrence, is trying to make the St. Louis Rams' roster after a successful run with Texas State as they climbed into FCS football in Franks' redshirt sophomore season in 2012.
We talked this up last week in the Trey Watts roster preview, but it's crammed.
At the top, you've got Todd Gurley, Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham. Chase Reynolds' special teams contributions of the last two years likely have him over the line.
If the 2014 roster is any indication of a five-running back corps being carried into the season, that leaves one slot open for Isaiah Pead, Watts, Malcolm Brown (roster preview), fullback Zach Laskey (roster preview) and Franks.
Franks benefits from the UDFA cover, but the battle here is real.
Pead's a second-round pick, albeit one that's never been able to make good on his draft status. Watts featured at the position in 2014 as a UDFA. And even among this class, he might be behind Brown who was a top prospect nationally out of high school.
Chances of Making Final Roster (2/10)
Franks is a long shot to make the clip. I've got Brown ahead of him as it stands, though Papa gave him a similar mark in his roster preview. And I'd have Laskey here too with Watts at the back largely due to his four-game suspension to welcome the regular season. It is, in the end, a camp battle. They'll all have a chance to earn time, but it's going to start in practice. For all of the rookies, it's already started with their work in rookie minicamp and throughout OTAs.
But for Terrence Franks, it's a chance to do what his father couldn't do 37 years ago and make it out of training camp on an NFL roster into the regular season.