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Ute walks away from Eagles

One week after signing 3-year deal, Frank retires

SHARE Ute walks away from Eagles

The University of Utah's all-time sack leader, John Frank, a sixth-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in April, has quit his NFL job just a week after signing a three-year contract.

The Eagles' Web site announced on Tuesday that Frank, a rookie who apparently attended a team meeting Saturday and then disappeared from Eagle training camp, had "retired for personal reasons." His agent, Ethan Lock of Arizona, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "If (the Eagles) aren't getting into it, I'm not going to get into it, either. It will play itself out."

And it did by Tuesday, when the retirement was announced.

Frank, a 26-year-old former LDS missionary to Spain and native Salt Laker, son of two Utah graduates, did not return telephone calls by the Deseret News, and Ute sports information director Liz Abel said he had not returned calls to her or to Utah coach Ron McBride, who is vacationing in California.

He was the middle of three sixth-round draft choices by the Eagles, taken 178th overall. He signed with the Eagles on July 11 for about $300,000 a year. By retiring, he forfeits a signing bonus reported at either $67,000 or $63,000.

The Inquirer reported Wednesday that Frank had recently been married and reported to camp last week, bringing his bride, directly from their honeymoon.

Frank was 1999 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and he is Utah's career leader in sacks with 27 and tackles-for-loss with 29. He made 58 tackles, 13 sacks, had 20 quarterback hurries and 20 tackles-for-loss in his senior season, a big factor in Utah's tying for the inaugural MWC championship and in winning the Las Vegas Bowl in December.

Frank is also a member of a family band that plays professionally at a Salt Lake nightspot.


E-MAIL: lham@desnews.com