Franklin finds new family at Arizona

Arizona picked up a commitment from Kendal Franklin on Tuesday afternoon. Read on to found out why he pulled the trigger, what current commit was recruiting him to Arizona, and more.

July has become the magnetic month for commitments for Rich Rodriguez in his third offseason at Arizona.

On Tuesday, Coach Rodriguez and his staff received a commitment from New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton linebacker Kendal Franklin.

"I just committed to Arizona," Franklin said. "I'm really excited about the decision. I just felt that it was time to do it."

Franklin joins the handful of Louisiana recruits that have been swayed by running back coach and co-offensive coordinator Calvin Magee to head west and join the Wildcats.

"When I first talked with Coach Magee, I knew we had a connection," Franklin said. "He grew up around here and so we have that Bayou connection.

"He started telling me all about Arizona and showed me videos of the campus and facilities. It was all great."

"They are going in the right direction and I want to be on their team when they get there."

The biggest sell for the Wildcats to Franklin was the family environment. The linebacker talked with all parties involved and felt like Arizona was the right choice for him.

"I started talking to some of the players and I got to talk to the coaches more and I started to get a feel for how the atmosphere was around the program.

"I got on the phone and talked it over with my head coach, my position coach, my dad, Coach Magee, and Coach Rich Rod. The more I talked to them, the more they told me that they wanted me to come and join the Wildcat family.

"That was really it, because everyone started to feel like family to me."

Committing early in the summer is going to allow Franklin to focus on his summer workouts and his upcoming season without the stress of recruiting hanging over his shoulder.

"I wanted to commit because I really feel like this is the right decision for me," Franklin said. "Committing now lets me focus on the high school season because I want to cement my legacy here and help us win that state championship.

"I put together a list of teams that wanted me and teams that I thought maybe didn't really want me and that's when I really started thinking about it. I started talking more to Coach Magee and Coach Rich and everything fell into place."

Although Franklin's recruitment didn't start heating up until 2014, Arizona inadvertently gave the linebacker something to think about back in 2013 when it upset the Pac-12 favorite Oregon Ducks.

"I'm a really big fan of underdogs," he said. "I think Arizona is one of those up and coming underdogs that are on the rise right now. Last year, they beat Oregon, who was one of my favorite teams for a while, and they are just starting to beat teams that a lot of people think that they shouldn't be beating.

"To see Arizona beat Oregon the way that they did last year, it just blew me away. They are going in the right direction and I want to be on their team when they get there."

In addition to the coaching staff and current players at Arizona, Franklin has had two other players in his ear about the Wildcats: a current commit and his high school coach.

"I have been talking with Shea Patterson," he said. "He's a quarterback that they have committed for 2016. He says nothing but great things about Arizona. He told me how amazing the coaches are and how great the campus was and things like that.

"I have also been talking to my position coach (Jerry Phillips) who played under Coach Rodriguez at Tulane. He told me about how Coach Rod would be on us all the time, but that it only intensifies the way you play the game."

The 2015 commit has not had the opportunity to visit Tucson yet. but has already planned out an official visit, his only one that he plans on taking.

"I haven't made any other trips, but I have my official planned for the weekend that Arizona plays USC on October 11th," he said. "I don't plan on going anywhere else. I just want to take it all in at Arizona."

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