No. Jersey DE Talks RU Offer, Looming Visit

Rutgers beat the rush to offer this 6-foot-6, 245-pound athlete from North Jersey when it became the first school to send a scholarship his way. Earlier this week he added two more offers, and is now in the process of scheduling a visit to Rutgers. Find out what the player thinks of the offer, what he knows about Rutgers and when he will try to visit the campus.

Taques Franklin grew up in Paterson, played football as a freshman at Passaic County Tech and last season starred at Manchester Regional High (Haledon, N.J.), but Rutgers remains a big foreign to him. He has never visited the campus.

But Franklin, one of the hottest recruits in the state after his highlight dvd made the rounds last week, is hoping to change that this week. In a four-day span he picked up three offers, with the first coming from the Scarlet Knights.

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Franklin, who is being recruited as a defensive end and tight end by schools, tried to make it to Rutgers' spring game, but his ride fell through.

"The coaches want me to come down and see the facilities and stuff, but my (high school) coach (Rande Roca) couldn't make it on Saturday,'' Franklin said. "I'm supposed to be going down this week sometime, but I'm not sure yet. I'll find out from coach Roca. I'm going to talk to him about it (Thursday). "I know they've got a pretty good football team, but I don't know much about them.''

Franklin was under-the-radar partly because he didn't play football as a sophomore, and his focus was on the basketball court.

Upon returning to the gridiron last season, Franklin lined up in the backfield, where he ran for 1,200 yards, but interest from schools was nil before his dvd began circulating last week.

Now, he holds offers from Rutgers, Michigan and Pittsburgh, and plenty of other schools are coming through Manchester Regional to learn more about him. Franklin said he spoke with Rutgers assistant coach Chris Hewitt, who is recruiting him.

"North Carolina, Boston College, Michigan, Florida State all came to the school,'' Franklin said. "There were a lot. I can't even remember them all.''

Franklin said his cousin attended Michigan, so he has some familiarity with the Wolverines, but he doesn't have a leader.

"I'm trying to do good school, do good in sports to hopefully make it to the league in football or basketball,'' Franklin said. "I'm hoping football right now.''

Franklin acknowledged he has some work to do in the classroom, but is eager to improve in that area.

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