LITTLE ROCK - Perhaps the only school in Arkansas where Quinn Franklin wouldn't have been a starting wide receiver last season was Warren.
That's because the Lumberjacks had a quartet of wideouts that all did their thing out wide and ended up signing with the Razorbacks.
But this season, Franklin (6-3, 190, 4.5) is center stage and was certainly one of the better players on hand Friday for the Shootout of the South 7-on-7 tournament, which concludes late Saturday afternoon.
"He has got a chance to be special," Warren head coach Bo Hembree said. "He has great hands, is big and physical, tough to tackle out there and I think he is excited about the season and we are excited about him.
"The only reason he didn't see time there last year was because we were very blessed," Hembree continued. "I think we have got two or three guys that have a chance to be really good this year and he is certainly one of them."
Franklin lined up at defensive end last season, but is excited to be on the offensive side of the ball this season.
"I have liked going through spring practice and our team camps and getting reps at wide receiver," Hembree said. "I am getting as many reps as possible and I think I am really coming around."
The former Arkansas staff had offered Franklin, but the new one is still evaluating him.
"I think this new Arkansas staff is going to wait and see," Hembree said. "There are a bunch of schools that have come through this spring to watch him – Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tulsa – and really they all just want to see game tape on him as a receiver. He doesn't have any tape like that right now."
Arkansas is certainly a program that Franklin is very interested in and he has plans to be at the Razorbacks' Seniors Only camp on July 19.
"There new coaching staff really impresses me," Franklin said. "They came down a lot to see the other guys. I like Arkansas and I am going to be up there for their individual camp."
Franklin joins junior tailback Courtney Haskell and junior quarterback Hayden Sherman as three players expected to do big things for the Lumberjacks this season.
Haskell is in Warren and not playing this weekend as his squad is just working on its passing game.
"Courtney is special," Hembree said. "He might be the most talented kid I have ever coached. He is making us more of a running football team than we have been in the past. We have been to two team camps and we are not throwing the ball as much as we have been in the past."
"I think Hayden is going to be a lot better than he was last year," Hembree added. "It is just going to be a deal of getting these young wide receivers involved and getting them experience."
Warren went 2-4 in pool play on day one of the event and gets back into action early Saturday morning with a regional play game against Carrollton (Texas) American Heritage at 10 a.m.
The event has regional play early this morning with the top three teams from each of the four regions advancing into the championship bracket and the others battling in the consolation blanket.
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