Franklin Hitting The Comeback Trail Strong

What a difference a year makes. In the 2002 spring workouts, Emmanuel Franklin suffered a potential life debilitating injury. The hard-hitting cornerback suffered a concussion, which caused bleeding in his brain and required him to undergo delicate skull surgery. After sitting out last season, the Galveston, Texas native is not only back and practicing, but also standing out as one of the top performers in spring practice. Franklin told DevilsDigest that his confidence has never been higher.

"I feel pretty good." Says the Jones High School graduate from Houston; "I came into spring practices more confident than I did in previous spring practices. In my first rep, I almost got an interception, and I think that kinda set the tone for me. I'm just enjoying playing again." Franklin said that having the right frame of mind (no pun intended) has helped him excel so far in the spring. "Obviously I had a little reservation about hitting again, and I was a little nervous. It took me a few periods to get comfortable, but after I got the first bang, it was all right."

Franklin says being over cautious coming back from an injury can actually do more harm than good. "After the first practice hitting I got a small headache, I didn't know if it was a dangerous headache or a regular football headache. My thing is that if something happens it will happen, and if I'm gonna play with anxiety and being timid, that's the easier way to get hurt than taking it one day at a time."

The junior says that he enjoys playing for new cornerbacks coach Kevin Ramsey who replaced Ron English who coached Franklin all through out his Sun Devils career. "I miss coach English, but I really enjoy working with coach Ramsey. He's teaching us some new techniques, and keeping things real upbeat. The guys really like him." Franklin started six games in 2001 and recorded 34 total tackles. His lone interception that year went for a 100-yd touchdown. This season, he faces an obvious uphill battle to reagin his starting position, but nevertheless he remains upbeat. "I'm thankful just to be in the depth chart. I'll worry about being a starter when Camp T rolls around. You got R.J. who's a lock down corner, so I would say that one position is up for grabs. Either way I'm confident with the selection because we're really deep. Right now, I'm just trying to get back in the swing of things, and back to normality."

For a football player, even following a serious head injury, normality is going out there and doing what you do best – even if it means laying your body on the line and playing with reckless abandon. So far, the gamble is paying off for the junior defensive back and with the turmoil surrounding another cornerback, it's nice for the maroon and gold faithful to witness a feel good story such as Emmanuel Franklin.

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