From Big Easy To Blue Turf?

In some respects, Boise offeree, Kendal Franklin, is like every other football player his age. He plays basketball at the local rec. league with his friends, keeps himself in shape during the off-season with track in field and makes sure he keeps his grades up. This summer, though, the New Orleans Easton junior defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid is out to prove he's nothing like the rest.

Blessed with the measureables coveted by someone at his position and fresh off being named Most Valuable Player at the National Underclassmen Combine Five Star Showcase on March 23, Kendal Franklin hopes to continue his upward trend at camps before his senior season.

"Things started off a little slow, but it's picking up now," said the 6'3", 235-pound single-man wrecking crew. "I'm going to do the best I can to get my name out there and get on the lists for the best players."

The NUC Five Star Showcase boasts the 100 best juniors from each region -- in this case Louisiana and Mississippi -- on an invite-only basis.

Franklin, who boasts a 4.53 40-yard dash, 4.23 shuttle, 330-pound bench and 485-pound squat, also plans to attend the Nike Football Training Camp in Dallas on April 5 and one of the NUC All-American Showcases.

He received his first offer from Boise State on March 6 and has since received offers from Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. He's gotten letters from Oklahoma State, Tulane, Florida, Southern Mississippi and Missouri, among others.

As he continues to increase his exposure, more and more schools are becoming interested. Despite the extra attention, Franklin remembers who was first in line for his services.

"I'm a very loyal guy," he said, when asked if a major-conference school could persuade him away from his Boise interest. Broncos defensive coordinator Marcel Yates has been his main contact on the staff. "It might make it a little tougher, but I value loyalty. The people who are with you first are the ones you can count on.

"I love that blue field; I'm not going to lie. To play on it would be great. I used to even play with them on NCAA just so I could see that blue."

During his junior season, he left quarterbacks feeling blue.

With the dimensions of someone much older, he's a terror off the edge and led the state with 17 sacks last season. Though the numbers may have impressed, all he can do is think about the ones that got away.

"I think there was about 10-15 sacks I left out there," he said. "There were a bunch early in the season when I was missing tackles or I just couldn't get the guy down in time before the ball got out. But coach (Antonio Hull) created a drill to help me work on my tackling and it got a lot better toward the end of the season.

"Next year I want to break the single-season sack record. I know I can do it."

Franklin isn't expecting to finalize a decision until shortly after his spring game in May. With a potentially difficult decision coming down the road, he already knows his brain trust will be there to help. He's counting on their input when he makes his final choice.

"I'm going to talk to my dad, grandmother, brother and sister, coaches and best friend (River Ridge, LA's John Curtis Christian HS outside linebacker Bo Wallace)," he said. His mother passed after a fight with cancer in 2008. "We (Franklin and Wallace) already talked about it and we're going to go together wherever we go. It's going to be a package deal."

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