Hailing from Glasgow (Ky.) High School, defensive athlete Steven Franklin has shown his dominance time and time again on the football field. Just last season, Franklin compiled 57 tackles and seven sacks, but those numbers could be much higher if teams did not gameplan for his impact on the defensive line.
According to 247Sports.com, Franklin is listed as a two-star linebacker prospect, but his Hudl page lists him as a defensive end who stands 6-foot-2 and 220-pounds. These measurements could fly at either position, but Franklin sees himself on the defensive line in college and has been training as such over the offseason.
“I’ve been to camps and I’ve met coach [Greg] Mattison at Michigan,” Franklin told Today’s U. “He’s been giving great tips. He coaches the defensive line, and he knows what he’s saying. It’s been going good.”
In attending these camps, Franklin has sought to improve several areas of his game. While he brings a strong work ethic, strength off the line and a rabid pursuit of the ball carrier, the Kentucky product is working to shore up one particular area of his playing style.
“Honestly, I’d say getting my hands quicker and making my pass rush quicker,” Franklin said. “I had a good number of sacks, but I feel like if I focus more on pass rush in third and long or second and long then it would help my team more. I haven’t gotten into the aspect of pass rush as much as I have this season.”
As it stands now, Franklin holds offers from Appalachian State, Army, Eastern Michigan, FIU, Illinois State, Kentucky Christian, Memphis, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Tulane. With scholarship offers from 10 schools, he could be in line to add more with an improved pass rush heading into his senior season, and schools such as Michigan are taking notice.
“I’ve been talking to coach [Jim] Harbaugh,” Franklin said. “So, they did a camp in Oakland. I camped there and talked to Mattison. I won one of my reps and coach Mattison was really impressed with me. He said he wants to see me on campus and was talking about what I would look like with more weight on my frame over the next three, four years.”
Spending years in a Michigan uniform is not a new thought for Franklin, however, as he says that Michigan has been his favorite school ever since he was a young child.
“Honestly, if you look at it, I’ve been a Michigan fan since three or four,” Franklin said. “I grew up and I liked the helmets when I was younger, how they had the three stripes. Then when you look at the history of it more and more, it’s a school with ton of tradition. If you look at people in the pros that would have never thought about going to the pros, like Tom Brady, a late draft pick. You go there with the best players to come through the NFL, so they have a heck of a tradition.
“I really like it there. It’s my favorite school, and I grew up a Michigan fan with Brady, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson. I’m a die-hard Michigan fan and that’s my dream school right there.”
With a strong affinity for the Maize and Blue on the forefront, Franklin is tentatively planning to visit Ann Arbor early next month.
“My visit date right now is August 6th,” he said. “I have to finalize it, but my visit date is August 6th.”
As far as which of his current offers have his attention the most, Franklin discussed how FIU is a program on the rise that firmly has his attention at the moment. Based on the 10 players currently committed to the program, FIU sports the No. 87 class in the country for 2017 according to 247Sports.com.
Another school, though, is slated to receive an official visit from Franklin, the only program he has locked in at the time.
“Right now, I’ve got one school in particular that I’m taking a visit to,” Franklin said. “That’s Maryland. I could not turn that down. Their coach is a great man, and I like talking to him. We talk all the time, and I’m excited to get to campus. They have a great class together.”
A class that could grow if Franklin picks up an offer from the Terrapins’ program. This will be a situation to monitor moving forward, as is his upcoming visit to Michigan.