Beyond the Commitment: Marloshawn Franklin

Cal's latest commit, Marloshawn Franklin, talks about his youth, a chance meeting with Marshawn Lynch and his commitment to the Bears

Yes, for all those wondering: Marloshawn and Marshawn did meet. It was pure happenstance that new California cornerback commit Marloshawn Franklin and the other official visitors this weekend bumped into former Bears running back -- and NFL star -- Marshawn Lynch in the waning moments of the women's basketball game at Haas Pavilion, but it brought two of the more unique names in the Cal world together.

"It was cool. He wasn't too fond of taking pictures and stuff like that, so I gave him his space," says Franklin, who committed to cornerbacks coach John Lovett during an in-home visit on Tuesday night. "I didn't really ask for a picture. He was a real humble dude. We come from kind of similar backgrounds, him being from Oakland and me being from Michigan, so he knows the things that I went through."

Franklin -- named for his father, Marloshawn, Sr., who got the name from Marloshawn, Jr.'s great aunt -- and his mother moved from Detroit before his eighth grade year for better opportunities. "My mother just wanted the best for me, so she felt that moving me out of the city would be best, and I would have a greater opportunity to do what I really wanted to do, and not get distracted by life in the city," Franklin says.

What Franklin wanted to do was play football. He starred first at Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe, and then at Chandler (Ariz.), but, he says, his grades were nothing special. In fact, he was a non-qualifier. 

"I just know it wasn't eligible, so I focused my attention towards getting my AA and taking the junior college route," Franklin says.

When time came for him to get his very unique name out to college coaches, he didn't know exactly what to do, so he started emailing. He emailed every Power 5 school he could think of, including Cal.

"I shot an email to them, every day, for about five or six weeks, up until our last home game against Scottsdale," Franklin says. "They came out and they checked me out, and after my season was over, they flew out and came to sit down and talk to me and my defensive coordinator. They got me scheduled for a visit, within a week out of my last regular-season game. I took my official last weekend, and that was that."

Beyond the classroom, Franklin has improved everything about his game from high school, growing to 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, and really finding a deeper understanding of how to play defense.

"I'd definitely say my size and strength, but also the mental aspect of it -- not creating mental problems for myself, and being able to have a clear mind when I'm out there, and staying true to myself," he says. "I'm believing in myself and had faith throughout the whole [recruiting process], whether I could see the light and I could see myself doing good one day, and the next day looks different, it's up and down, but moreso being consistent. It's my faith in, every day, getting better in something small."

Cal wasn't the only school to bite on Franklin's emails, but it was the school that showed the most interest.

"I love who loves me. The whole recruiting thing, I'm not too fond of it, as far as dragging out the situation," he says. "I got a second opportunity, so when I saw it, I felt like it was good for me, academically. I know they have the exact degree that I want to get, which is Media Studies -- a branch of Communications. Cal is a very prestigious school, and what intrigued me was that I could come in to play early. I know they've got some redshirt freshmen that weren't developed and ready to play when they first got to Cal, and in my two years being here, I felt like I developed as a player, I developed as a person, and I'm able to take my talents to Cal and show them what I've got."

The Bears showed Franklin what they had over the weekend, as it was his first visit to the campus. It was the in-home visit by Lovett, though, that sealed the deal with Franklin's mother.

"Seeing the campus, seeing the weight rooms, seeing the cafeteria, seeing the meal plan that would be provided for me, the tutoring that I'd have access to -- being tutored by PhD's, being tutored by professors with Masters -- the education part, Cal is a very prestigious school, and I know it's pretty hard to get in that school, so for me to have the opportunity to come to an institution like that, that's great," he says. "I know that really stuck with my mom. She was very fond of that, and so was I. Coach coming out and showing my mother what Cal had to offer -- because she wasn't able to come on the visit with me -- him showing her a couple slides of everything that I have access to, when I came home, me and my mother and my family talked about it, and we felt like that was the best fit. We took a chance on it."

Another big factor was Lovett, who just finished his first regular seasonas the Bears' cornerbacks coach.

"I feel like coach Lovett can be a good influence in my life, a good motivator," Franklin says. "I know he just got there Aug. 1 of this year, so this is his first year, and I'm the first recruit that he's had the say-so on, so he chose me, and felt that, with my skill set, I could help them out with what they do, and I was a good fit. He believed in me, and ever since the first day, he's been honest and open with me. I feel like he's a trustworthy guy, and his experience with Chip Kelly the last four years with the Eagles, I know I'll have the opportunity to play be able to take my talent to the next level, if that's what I desire to do. His experience with college football, he's been all across the country, so he's got great experience with DBs. He's coached two Jim Thorpe Award winners. You can't ask for more. He's a down-to-earth guy, and has a great understanding of me, and vice versa. I could play for him for the next two years." Top Stories