It’s been almost two months since Battlefield (Haymarket, Va.) outside linebacker Brailyn Franklin placed Maryland and Virginia Tech atop his leaderboard, and apparently the situation remains status quo. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Texas native said he’s all about the Terps and Hokies and is inclined to choose from one of those two programs.
“Nothing has changed whatsoever; it’s still Virginia Tech and Maryland,” said Franklin, who also holds offers from Kansas, Cincinnati, Marshall, ODU, Syracuse and Temple. “Both of those schools are still pushing for me, and I could see myself at either one. I know some people have said I’m probably going to Tech, but honestly it’s even between those two. I really like both those schools and can’t really separate them right now.”
Maybe so, but Franklin has been in Blacksburg, Va., four times this offseason. He’s raved about each stay, talking up the area, the program head coach Justin Fuente is building and the defensive staff. He’s been in touch with defensive coordinator Bud Foster and defensive line coach Charley Wiles, who recently stopped by Battlefield.
“I’m always talking to Tech, and they’ve been by to check up on me,” Franklin said. “When I spoke to Coach Wiles, he wanted to know if I was still very interested in joining the program and I told him, ‘Yes sir, still a lot of interest.’ That’s a school that’s nearby, they have a good plan for me and I just really like the coaches there.”
The Haymarket resident had similar comments for the Terps. He said he’s spoken most frequently to UMD-area recruiter Chris Beatty and defensive line coach Mike London.
“Coach Beatty actually just came through the school, and it was cool to see him. He’s a real cool coach and we talk at least once a week,” Franklin said. “And Coach London, I spoke to him and we had a good conversation about life in general and my interest level in Maryland. It was a really good talk. He actually asked me the same thing Coach Wiles did, and I told [London], ‘Yes, I’m very interested in Maryland.’”
Franklin took his lone College Park, Md., trip March 26 with his father. He hasn’t had a chance to return yet, but said he and his dad “definitely” want to give UMD a second look this summer.
“I really like the coaches there and their energy,” Franklin said. “They have a lot to offer me. They were all really cool when I was up there, and were just saying a lot of great things about the program. And I love how the defense works and feel like I can fit well there. They attack the ball and fly around the field.
“Then the campus, the new facilities -- I loved that about Maryland too.”
The Battlefield product has no visits scheduled coming up, nor is he sure which other schools he wants to see other than a return to UMD. He said, ideally, he’d like to check out each of his suitors, “but I’m not sure how many I’m going to be able to get to.”
Franklin also mentioned that coaches from Penn State, Purdue and Wake Forest have shown increased interest after watching workouts during the evaluation period. That said, Franklin said none of those programs would represent a “game-changing offer” if they materialized.
Franklin, though, is still hoping a few hometown Texas programs become involved, but acknowledged he hasn’t heard from the likes of TCU, Baylor or TAMU.
“I’m thinking by the end of the summer I should be ready to make my [college] decision,” Franklin said. “If not then, then after my first game when I can send my film out. But I’m thinking most likely in the summer.”
Note: Franklin mentioned that Tech, Maryland and most of his other suitors view him as an outside linebacker. That said, Franklin said he’d like to play strong safety or maybe receiver in college.
“Coaches see me as an outside linebacker now, but once I show them some film from this year that could change,” Franklin said. “I really want to play safety because I can cover and use my athleticism, and I like receiver too. But we’ll see.”