Vegas Franklin Shows Improvement

Vegas Franklin is a defensive lineman from Reserve, La. He attended East St. John High School--the same high school as running back Derron Thomas. Franklin had a good spring game and is looking to contribute in the 2005 season.

Franklin is a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end looking to get into the rotation this fall. He has primarily played right end since he has been a Hurricane and has impressed head coach Larry Coker.

"Our young defensive ends, Calais Campbell and Vegas Franklin, were really doing some things that your coached them to do," Coker said. "I've been encouraged by what I've seen from them and our young defensive ends."

Franklin along with Campbell, Eric Moncur, and Rhyan Anderson are all competing for playing behind three upperclassmen.

Vegas Franklin was certainly impressive in last week's practices, finding a way to be around the ball on every play.

"That's the way we play our defense, everyone swarming to the ball," Franklin said.

Franklin is showing incredible potential at the defensive end position so far this spring.

Since arriving at Miami, Franklin has been working his way up the depth chart, playing on the scout team in 2003 then seeing playing time throughout the 2004 season.

"There's always room for improvement, always," Franklin tersely said. "I need to work on my strength and focusing on plays."

Franklin doesn't think the defensive line is at full playing speed or strength just yet, but he also doesn't think they're that far away either.

He said they still need to get off the ball and hit their gaps quicker and continue to play every down as hard as possible. He cited the fact that the Hurricanes are so deep with talent that there is no excuse for not going hard every play.

"You shouldn't worry about getting winded or anything because you trust your teammates to come in and do a good job," he said.

Franklin could not stress his work ethic enough and willingness to improve on whatever his coaches want. His strides and determination to physically and mentally prepare more for the 2005 season have no doubt garnered praise from his coaches.

Franklin noted that he wanted to work as hard as he could this spring before going back home to be with his family.

"I just want to go back and relax with my friends and family," he said. "I'll be working out back home and getting ready to move up the depth chart and do whatever the coaches ask."

Franklin played in five games in 2004 making five tackles (two solo) for negative four yards. He also recorded a half sack for negative four yards. His standout traits consist of strong hands with tremendous quickness around the corner. When he's away the field, Franklin said he likes to hang out with his friends and play video games.

"Madden, Fight Night Round Two, and MLB 2005 are my games," he said.

But where is the NCAA Football game you ask?

"I don't play around with college football," Franklin said.

"I can't fake that," Franklin said. "I take this game too seriously right now."

Franklin's ferocity is contagious and is a great indicator of how the defense is doing this spring. We'll see how it transfers into the 2005 season when the team begins September 5 at Florida State.

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