Now that his college football career is over, Kansas State offensive lineman is training for the April NFL Draft where he hopes to be chosen. For Frantz, his being openly gay is nothing he shies away from as he pursues his dream.
“I don’t think [being gay is] a burden at all,” Frantz told Drew Davison of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. “If there’s people that look up to me because of that, I think that’s awesome. Anything I can do to be a role model to people.
“There’ll definitely be a lot of people that look up to me because of that, but that stuff is not even really on my mind at all. I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunity.”
If Frantz is drafted, he will join Michael Sam in 2014 as the only openly gay NFL draftees. If he makes a team, Frantz will be the first openly gay player on an NFL regular season roster (some scouts see him as a late-round choice, while one told the Star-Telegram that his short arms will be a knock against him).
Frantz came out in 2017 as a sophomore and was the Wildcats’ starting left tackle — the guy who protects the quarterback’s blindside — all four seasons. Frantz, 6-5 and 300 pounds, was in Fort Worth, Texas, last week to attend the College Gridiron Showcase, a chance for NFL teams to get an early look at potential draft choices.
After coming out in 2017, Frantz did not talk much about being gay, preferring instead to focus on the field. It was refreshing then to hear him open up a bit on the subject to the Star-Telegram.
One thing he said he learned was that being gay should not be a hindrance to being drafted. “If you show up and you’re a good guy and you work hard and you play well, that’s all that matters,” he said. “No one gives a crap about the other stuff.”
I was interested to hear that Frantz said he never heard a gay slur while playing at Kansas State. “Not once,” Frantz said. “It’s not an issue. Just like everybody else, I’m a football player. That’s what people see me as.”
Frantz is selling teams on his versatility, saying he can play guard and center as well as tackle. We will be following his journey to the draft and hope teams judge him solely on his ability and not on whom he loves.