Franklin Closer to Final Decision

Johnathan Franklin, the running back/defensive back prospect from Los Angeles Dorsey who is a soft commit to UCLA, said some things have happened lately that have made him move closer to making his final decision...

Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey athlete Johnathan Franklin, the longtime UCLA commit, was focusing on four Pac-10 schools, but that list has narrowed to two, and Franklin said he eliminated a pair last week.

"I was scheduled to visit Washington State this weekend, but I didn't take the trip because I needed to study for finals. I won't be taking that trip after all. I also called Cal this week and told them I was not going to be attending there," said Franklin.

That leaves UCLA and Arizona State in the running for Franklin.

"Arizona State is supposed to come by this week. Washington State still wants me to take a visit, but I'm not planning to. I'll probably make my final decision before Friday," said Franklin.

On Sunday, Franklin hosted UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel and defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker at his home.

"After that meeting, I'm really leaning more towards them. They really answered a lot of questions. Coach Neuheisel is a cool dude all around. He cares about the players, not just for football, but all around. They will help me out for a lifetime. Like I told others, if UCLA wins a national championship, it will be through him. He talks about C.A.R.E., Commitment, Attitude, Responsibility and Enthusiasm. That is the centerpiece of his philosophy," said Franklin.

Franklin said that the meeting with Neuheisel and Walker went over what position he'd play in college, since he was initially recruited as a defensive back but after a big senior season at running back, he may see some time on offense.

"Coach Neuheisel and Coach Walker said whatever position I want to play, they'll give me a shot at it," said Franklin. "I'll go in open-minded. I have a passion for football, I love football. So any position doesn't matter. I prefer running back, that's where my heart is but I'll do whatever I can to help the team."

Franklin said he's hoping to meet new running backs coach Wayne Moses and offensive coordinator Norm Chow. He also highlighted Neuheisel's emphasis on academics. "They really backed up academics a whole lot which impressed me," Franklin said. "UCLA is a great school and that's the school as far as right now. But I'm still a soft commit. I'm really going to sit down this week and do my pros and cons."

Franklin did admit that the comfort he felt with the other recruits in the UCLA class has made his decision swing more towards the Bruins.

"We have a great recruiting class with all the dudes committed to UCLA. I'm really excited and that's going to sway. This class and being close to home, I really want my mom and my family and Dorsey players to get a chance to see me. Rahim (Moore) is always saying to me, ‘UCLA, UCLA, UCLA,' to make sure I come with him," said Franklin.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories