Franklin Talks About UCLA Commitment

Johnathan Franklin, the 5-11, 180-pound athlete from Los Angeles Dorsey, who was part of a big group that committed to UCLA on Saturday, talked about what his commitment means to him and his family, and where the Bruin coaching staff sees him playing when he comes to Westwood...

Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey athlete Johnathan Franklin (5-11, 180), is still riding cloud nine since he committed to UCLA on Saturday.

"Man, I'm still going crazy," said Franklin. "I'm very happy. I didn't know I was going to get an offer. At first I didn't want to commit early. But the more they talked, the more I knew it was the school for me. They really care about you as a football player but even more, they care about you as a person."

Franklin, who was the Dons' primary ball-carrier in 2006, replacing Stafon Johnson, also played defense for Dorsey, playing an unconventional position for a guy of his size.

"I played defensive end last year a lot, but I also played linebacker," said Franklin. "This year, I'm going to play wherever may help the team."

UCLA, though, wisely has no plans to put him on the defensive line.

"Yeah, there aren't very many d-ends in college that size," Franklin joked. "I'm going to come in as a strong safety. I mean, if they wanted me to play running back, I'd be good with that, but I'm coming there as a safety."

Franklin and teammate Rahim Moore had long talked about playing together in college and when that goal became a real possibility when he received the offer on Saturday, he didn't hesitate.

"We talked about it but we never thought it would really happen so that was a good feeling," said Franklin. "That dude is like a brother to me."

Interestingly, it was a Crenshaw Cougar who was most instrumental in recruiting Franklin.

"Coach E-Scott really helped me through this whole process," said Franklin. "It's going to be funny being a Dorsey guy and playing under him but he was real big in me committing to them. I appreciate him a lot."

Franklin is also close to a current Bruin and an incoming freshman in the fall.

"Me and Raymond (Carter) and Reggie (Carter), before high school, we all played Pop Warner together, so its going to be like Pop Warner all over again," said Franklin.

Defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker also played a big role in Franklin's recruitment.

"Coach Walker is just a wonderful person and he's been interested in me for a while," said Franklin. "He was the one who wanted me at safety."

Franklin also looked long-term in making his decision.

"Not everyone goes to the NFL, so graduating from that school can set you up with a nice job, a good family and let you buy a nice house. I mean, the NFL is what I'm aiming for, but it doesn't always work out," said Franklin. "But more, it also opens up doors for other black people coming out of the community and being successful. It shows that if you put your mind to it, you can be successful."

The educational factor is a driving force in Franklin's life, as is succeeding for his own family.

"Man, they were really excited," said Franklin. "I'm the first one out of the family to go to college. It was emotional but we're very excited. I want to major in psychology because I love helping people with there problems. Academics come first. I have a 3.1 GPA and I scored an 1170 on the SAT, but I'm not satisfied with my GPA so I'm going to keep taking it until I am. I'll take it again in May."

This spring, Franklin will be at the Combine as well as the UCLA Camp and he'll again participate in the B2G Elite Football Program.

Nicknamed "Jet-Ski", Franklin explained how the name was coined.

"When I was in fifth grade, I was playing for the Crenshaw Pop Warner team and there was the guy named "Goldie" who was the fastest dude on the team. So I came out and said I'd beat him and Coach Virdell said lets race. I blew him away, and they started calling me Jet-Ski because I was so fast, I looked like a Jet-Ski. Pretty much everyone calls me that," said Franklin.

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