Embarking upon a deep playoff run with Downey (Calif.) High School, four-star junior linebacker Darrian Franklin has performed at a high level for the Vikings this season. Measuring at 6’3” and 215 lbs., Franklin has promising size for a prospect of his age, and he uses his physical prowess all over, scouring the field from the outside linebacker position.
“What I do well is I make plays from sideline to sideline as an outside linebacker,” Franklin told GoBlueWolverine.com. “I make plays on both sides of the ball. I play receiver too so [schools] like that I’m an athlete.”
Although Franklin reports that he runs a 4.6 second 40-yard dash, the speedy defensive prospect is receiving all of his recruiting interest from the linebacker position.
“No one really is looking at me at wide receiver, just linebacker,” said Franklin. “Right now I think I’m at eight or nine [offers]. I think nine.”
Scout.com lists Franklin with eight offers at this juncture in his recruitment as schools such as USC, UCLA, Cal and Michigan, among other programs, have offered a full ride scholarship. Hailing from the West coast, Franklin is quite familiar with several nearby schools that have offered, namely the USC Trojans, but the number 11 outside linebacker in the 2016 class is not planning on ending his recruitment any time soon.
“I kind of grew up an SC fan but as I got older I kinda got away from that and started liking different team,” explained Franklin. “I always was thinking I would play this out and I listen to my parents through the whole process. They were telling me ‘I know you like USC and all, but take a look at all the other schools too.’ So I’m going to do that.
“I’m going to wait until my senior year, take all my visits then see what I do from there.”
Amid his successful junior season, Franklin received an offer from the Michigan Wolverines last month. With tight end and special teams coach Dan Ferrigno as Franklin’s primary recruiter, a visit last month from the Wolverines’ assistant proved fruitful.
“Coach Ferrigno came up to the school and liked me a lot,” said Franklin. “I was supposed to go up there sometime in the summer with my dad and I never got to. So he came down a few weeks ago, coach Ferrigno. He came down to see my team. (Later) he offered me a scholarship. I was excited that Michigan offered me and was looking at me.”
Franklin says that the Wolverines first began showing interest last summer. With over a year remaining until a potential collegiate decision looms, Franklin is aware of what factors will prove instrumental in his recruitment.
“I’m going to see what schools are most consistent with talking to me and also where I’m comfortable at,” said Franklin. “I need to see how comfortable and where I can play. [Distance] is not a big factor at all, that doesn’t matter.”
Franklin’s father is originally from Detroit, Michigan, creating an added sense of comfortability between Franklin and the Wolverines. Still, over a year remains before Franklin plans to close down his recruitment, and he contests that a leader has not been selected as of yet.
“Not really, I don’t really have a favorite,” said Franklin.
Story by Eric Rutter
Interview by Sam Webb