Recruiting: Catching up with Daniel Franklin

Mt. Airy, Ga. linebacker and Oklahoma commit Daniel Franklin talks about his baseball season and recent visits to Florida and Georgia.


JH: What has been going on with you since you committed to OU? What sport are you playing now? Baseball?

DF: "I am playing baseball right now and it is going really well. We played tonight and we won 13-1. I went 4-for-4 with two home runs. I have been smacking the baseball around. I think in my last 17 at bats I am like 14-for-17. I have been mashing the baseball and I have been playing really well. Our two ace pitchers are both having arm trouble right now, so we have pulled up a lot of our JV pitchers. But we have been hitting the baseball really well. I have been playing well, but we are struggling a little bit as a team right now. That is alright because we will get it together."

JH: What are you hitting for the season and home my homers do you have for the season?

DF: "My batting average is like the low four's (.400s) or high three's (.300s). It is flirting with .400 and I think that was my eighth home run."

JH: Are you hearing anything from the pro scouts?

DF: "There was one at our game the other day, but I didn't play that well. I got on base twice, but I didn't do anything amazing. I'm not really hearing anything from them. My dad was offered to go and play for the Dodgers out of high school, so he was a lot better baseball player than I am."

JH: Are you thinking at all about playing baseball at OU as well as football?

DF: "Yes, I would love to. I would love to DH, but I don't know if I will be able to because of how hectic playing football and baseball would be. If I could DH or get a chance to work at first or third base I would love to."

JH: Have you talked to Sunny Golloway or talked to Coach (Bob) Stoops at all about playing both sports?

DF: "I have talked to Coach Stoops about it, but I haven't met the baseball coach. I hope to talk to him in the future."

JH: Since you are concentrating on baseball ,do you have any time to do anything related to football?

DF: "I workout every day and lift weights. I also do cones and some ladder drills to just work on my agility some. That is about all the work that I do because I can't go to football practice right now until spring starts. So I just work out every day and run."

JH: Will you guys have spring football soon?

DF: "Yes sir, it will start May 3. It will last three weeks, but I will miss the first week and will then pick it up the second and third week."

JH: Didn't you recently attend a couple of Junior Days in your area?

DF: "I went to Junior Day at Georgia Tech and Florida. I am just trying to have fun. You are only going to be recruited one time. You can only go to primarily every major college in the Southeast one time. I talked to Coach (Brent) Venables about it and he told me to enjoy the process. He knows that I am a player who is going to honor my commitment and I am not interested in anybody else. He told me to enjoy the process."

JH: Did you find out that Georgia Tech and Florida were similar to OU or much different?

DF: "I actually did. Coach Venables preaches playing downhill. Even in a couple of letters that he wrote me he says, ‘Daniel, play hard and remember to move downhill.' With Coach Venables every thing is downhill. I also went to Georgia 's Junior Day with Tavarres (King) and their linebacker coach was talking about not moving downhill. I was like, what? Why wouldn't you have your linebackers go downhill, but what he was doing was playing straight uphill with his defensive ends and having his linebackers sitting back there. I hate that style of playing linebacker. That would make me just an average linebacker. I can't play sitting back and waiting for the running backs to come to me. Why would I want to sit back and let them getting a yard or two closer to me when I can go smack a guy and make a play?

"At Florida ,I didn't really do anything. I just kind of ate and watched the basketball game. I am really a Florida Basketball fan. Florida is nice, but it is not where I want to play. It is a nice college with a nice campus, but it is not where I want to play football. My brother, David, is a student at Georgia Tech. I like it there and it is cool and all, but it is not like it is at OU in the Big 12. At Georgia Tech, there are maybe 40,000 fans in the stands and it is quiet in their stadium. You don't even have to yell to talk to the person across from you. You can just talk real quiet and they can hear you. When I was at OU for the Colorado game, it was crazy in there. There were 80,000 fans screaming, yelling and going crazy.

"The environment at Tech was so much different than at OU. You could tell that the students at Tech were there just to study. They weren't there to watch the football games. My brother and his roommate are the only two real football fans there. If you go to the games my brother will be the only guy in the stands who is painted up and wearing a wig trying to root the team on."

JH: The NCAA has outlawed text messaging between college coaches and prospective recruits. How much did you use text messaging between you and college coaches? And what do you think of this latest rule from the NCAA?

DF: "That is the way that I initially started to talk to Coach Venables. He sent me a text message asking me if I wanted a scholly from OU. I responded, 'Heck yeah!' Then I called him up and talked to him and Coach Stoops for a little while. It was a big help to me getting to know Coach Venables and all the coaches really. How are recruits now going to get to know the coach? That really screws it up because I would have never been able to get to know Coach Venables. Coach Venables is fired up all the time, but how would I know that if I never hear from him or never get a text from him? How would I know that I want to play for him?

"I never got text (messages) at school, but if that is the problem then just limit it from 8 to 3 or during school hours. If coaches don't text athletes, then what are they going to do? Honestly, I didn't open many of the letters that I got because they were mostly form letters. Most everything from Oklahoma I opened, but other schools I haven't. I have a stack of letters because they are form letters and you can't really communicate with a coach through a letter. You wonder if the coach actually wrote it and there just isn't any personality to it."

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