UCLA Commit Keeps His Options Open

Johnathan Franklin committed to the hometown Bruins back in March of last year. Much like other UCLA pledges, the coaching change in Westwood has caused him to rethink his decision. Consequently, two Pac-10 schools will entertain the Dorsey High School athlete on official visits this month. Devils Digest talked to Franklin about one of those suitors – the Arizona State Sun Devils.

"Arizona State has been recruiting me for about a month and half now," said the 5-11 195 Johnathan Franklin. "Coach Yarber is recruiting me and he's a real cool dude. He's a real person that looks to form a relationship with you, not just recruit you. I'm really impressed with him. The program is very competitive and I like that because I love to compete."

Aside from Arizona State, who he will visit on January 18th, Cal is another Pac-10 team that has entered the Franklin sweepstakes. The Bears are tentatively scheduled to host Franklin on January 11th. "I could possibly see myself visiting other schools," he stated without specifying any particular colleges. "If the opportunity is there, why not take it."

In his senior year for the Dons, Franklin collected 1,732 yards, averaging just over eight yards a carry and tallied 12 touchdowns. On defense he registered 6.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. He's being recruited as athlete by all schools and could play both a running back and safety.

"Whatever needs to be done I'm gonna do it," he said of his skills. "Wherever the team needs me, offense or defense, that's where I'll be. As long as I can help the team I'm satisfied."

"I love football so much, I'm always gonna give 110%. I needed to carry my team on offense this year and I did. I just work as had as I can every snap I take – that's what football is all about. I do need to get stronger and as I develop my skills in college I know I'll do that."

Franklin truly doesn't know which school he will eventually verbal to, and said that he's literally taking it day by day, when it comes to his recruitment by all the aforementioned schools. "I consider myself a soft commit to UCLA," he stated. "I'm considering other schools and just looking for what program is best for me. Whatever I decision I make won't affect other coaches, it will affect me. I got to live my life and nobody else's. The decision where I want to go is all on me."

College football is a business, and Franklin is quite aware of that fact. Therefore, the Dorsey standout doesn't see himself committing to a coach, but rather committing to a program. "If I see a school that fits me, a school that I can see myself building a life on," he said. "That's a school I'm gonna go to. I'm looking for a school that really cares about its players, cares about academics. A school that puts the student before the athlete."

With a 3.1 GPA and 1170 SAT score Franklin is academically eligible.

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