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So when the 6-foot-2, 315-pound defensive tackle was watching film in the defensive line room but then summoned to Kelly's office Friday, he did not give much thought to the meaning.
"I sat down on the couch and coach Kelly handed me an envelope and said, 'Hey, my staff really loves you and they wanted me to give this to you. It's nothing really special or anything,' "Franklin said. "I opened it up and it was an offer."
And like that, Franklin's recruitment changed gears as he held an offer from the Irish.
"I didn't expect to see him at all today," Franklin said. "I went in there not knowing what was going to happen, and thinking he wanted to talk about tomorrow's practice. It's crazy. When it actually happened, I was like, 'Wow.' He said, 'Congrats, young man. You earned this.'
"I've been working hard to get an offer like this. Notre Dame is an elite academic and an elite football school. There are few better schools or bigger stages than Notre Dame. I'm really ecstatic about this."
Franklin made the trip to Notre Dame with a few members of North Caroline's coaching staff, and after an early afternoon arrival, the group toured campus and met with a few of the coaches.
"I called me dad and let him know, and he was ecstatic," Franklin said.
He will watching practice Saturday before heading back on the road in the afternoon for the drive home, but the campus already holds a special place in Franklin's mind.
"It's incredible," Franklin said of the campus. "It's not like anything else. People tell me but it doesn't do it justice. To see Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome, it's incredible. They took me to the grotto, too. That is really special.
"It's unspoken, but you just feel (the history). From seeing all the videos about Notre Dame, and seeing all the documentaries and stuff like that, to be there walking around is just mind-blowing, actually."