Arkansas snags Franklin

Florida prep tailback Juwan Franklin (6-0, 185, 4.3) and his head coach Frank Beasley talk about the prospect's decision to go ahead and commit to the University of Arkansas on Friday and cancel his visits to Kentucky and West Virginia.

Dunnellon (Fla.) prep football star Juwan Franklin has seen enough to know that he wants to be a Razorback.

Franklin, 6-0, 185-pound speedster who rushed for 1,667 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior, committed to University of Arkansas assistant coach Danny Nutt via text messaging early Friday morning.

"Mainly it was about how much I really like the coaching staff and how much they focused on academics as well," Franklin said. "Arkansas is a great running back school and I think I can be a great running back for them."

Franklin, who bench presses 300 pounds and who says he put down a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash at an Orlando Nike Camp, is a impressive prospect according to Dunnellon head coach Frank Beasley.

"Juwan is exceptionally fast and also very quick getting started," Beasely said. "He ran for nearly 1,700 yards for us this season and not only got them on the outside, but from running in between the tackles.

"He is a tall, rangy kid with a good frame and I am sure he will be 200 to 210 once they get him up there at Arkansas and he hits the weights," Beasely said. "He's a great prospect."

Franklin, who visited Arkansas officially on Dec. 15-17 and was hosted by Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden, had schedule visits to Kentucky this weekend and also to West Virginia and Florida International, but has now canceled them.

"Darren just let me know that you just have to put in the hard work every day if you want to be able to get the point he is at," Franklin said. "That's what I am going work toward and do it every day."

He was also recruited by South Florida, but decided he wanted to head to Fayetteville.

"It certainly didn't hurt Arkansas at all that he got to hang with Darren McFadden, who was very impressive to him," Beasley said. "Both McFadden and Danny Nutt, who has done a real good job at developing a relationship with him, were big keys.

"He also was just really impressed with the school and atmosphere - even though the students were not up there at the time," Beasely added. "He came to me about two days ago and said this is where I want to go to Arkansas and I want to get this all over with."

Franklin, whose team was 7-3 this season and had two other D-1 prospects on it, said once he actually visited Arkansas he was pretty sure that was where he was going to end up.

"I was thinking about West Virginia at first and thinking that's probably where I would go, but I knew pretty soon after I visited Arkansas that is was the place for me," Franklin said. "There's no reason to take this other visits because I am sure I want to be a Razorback."

He knows that McFadden and Jones are poised to get the vast majority of the carries next season for Arkansas.

"What the coaches have told me is that if I come in and prove I am the best one to back them up than I wouldn't redshirt," Franklin said. "It's all about what I do once I get up there."

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