Northwestern running back Cam Porter and offensive lineman Zachary Franks suffered lower-body injuries during fall camp that will cause both players to miss the entire college football season, the program announced Tuesday. Porter led the team in rushing last season, while Franks appeared in eight of Northwestern’s nine games in 2020.
“RB Cam Porter and OL Zachary Franks suffered lower-body injuries during training camp that will cause them to miss the 2021 football season,” the school released in a statement. “The rehabilitation process will begin immediately and additional information on their return will be communicated at a later date.”
Porter, a member of Northwestern’s 2020 signing class, led a crowded backfield as a true freshman. He finished with 333 yards and five touchdowns on 81 rushing attempts and figured to play an even greater role out of the backfield this season.
Northwestern captured the Big Ten West Division championship a season ago and fell to Ohio State in the conference title game.
After logging just eight total carries in Northwestern’s first four games, Porter’s workload and production increased. He carried 24 times for a career-best 142 yards and two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ win over Illinois on Dec. 12. A week later against Ohio State, Porter rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. He concluded his freshman campaign by logging 33 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown in Northwestern’s bowl win over Auburn on New Year’s Day.
An Ohio native by way of Cincinnati, Porter was a three-star recruit in the 2020 class. He was the nation’s No. 41-ranked running back and the No. 14 player in the state of Ohio, according to the industry generated 247Sports Composite. Porter signed with Northwestern after also receiving offers from Cincinnati, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisville, Minnesota and Purdue among others.
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Before arriving at Northwestern, Franks was a three-star prospect in the 2019 class out of Baltimore. He rated as the country’s No. 81 offensive tackle and the state of Maryland’s No. 14 player, according to the 247Sports Composite.