Battlefield (Haymarket, Va.) linebacker Brailyn Franklin landed his second power-five offer from Maryland March 11, and less than a month later the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder visited College Park, Md., for the first time. Franklin, who is from Texas and relocated to Virginia about a year ago, raved about his initial UMD jaunt March 26.
“It was really nice, really nice. My dad and I both went up and had a great time there,” said Franklin, who also holds verbals from Va Tech, Marshall and Kansas. “It’s a great program there, and I really liked talking to the players and coaches. My dad liked it a lot too. It was great.”
Franklin said he spent the most time interacting with his UMD-area recruiter, Chris Beatty. He also spoke to head coach D.J. Durkin, defensive line coach Mike London, strength trainer Rick Court and a couple graduate assistants.
“I really like the coaches there and their energy,” Franklin said. “They have a lot to offer me. They were all really cool and were just saying a lot of great things about the program. Coach Court is a great strength coach and I feel like he can develop me, and I liked the rest of the coaches too.
“Coach Beatty, I like him a whole lot. I’m on the phone with him at least once a week and then on Twitter. He’s awesome. Then Coach London, Coach Durkin, I love them. If I were to commit to Maryland, it would be because of Coach Beatty, Coach London and Coach Durkin. I love those guys. It’s just so cool talking to them."
The scrimmage Maryland held March 26 hit home as well. Franklin said he loved the defensive effort and the enthusiasm the coaches portrayed.
“I loved the energy,” he said. “It was really cool and really live. I watched the defensive ends and the linebackers and just loved how they got after it and got into coverage. I love how the defense works. I can fit well there.”
Franklin also said the Terps have “a lot” to offer him as a student-athlete. He mentioned the academic reputation, as well as the staff’s emphasis on development on and off the field.
“They have a lot to offer for me at Maryland,” Franklin said. “My thing is, I want to be playing either receiver or on defense as a corner or safety, and coach Durkin was like, ‘You can play rush-linebacker, drop back and cover, and play receiver also.’…He was like, ‘We’re all about that.’ He’s all about guys developing in different spots. And actually, they just took a quarterback and put him at linebacker, so that kind of proves it. He’s all about trying guys at new spots and thinking outside the box…he’s open to it. I love that about Coach Durkin.”
The Battlefield product went on to praise the upgraded dorms, facility upgrades and more.
“I saw the plans for the new facility -- $160 million. It’s crazy,” Franklin said. “I really liked it. They’re doing big things there at Maryland. And It was awesome to talk to the players like Will Likely. I asked him why he committed and he told me about playing time and how much he liked the whole program. He told me how he developed there and how great of an atmosphere it was. So that opened my eyes some to Maryland.”
The Texas native also noted his father;s reaction to the College Park foray. Franklin said his dad liked UMD’s academic emphasis and the coaches’ plans for his son.
Maryland isn’t the only school on Franklin’s mind, however. Va Tech is firmly in play and is likely riding side by side with the Terps.
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“I’d say those are the top two schools. My first two official visits will be to Maryland and Va Tech,” Franklin said. “Those two will definitely be right there for me. But I also like TCU a lot and LSU too. I hope those two get involved since I’m from that area. But I like the options I have now, and I like Maryland and Tech a lot.”