Local Linebacker Has Early Favorite

Robert Franco, the 6-0, 220-pound linebacker prospect from San Pedro (Calif.) High, told us about the recruiting attention he's getting from the Pac-10 and other schools, and said he has a long-time favorite program...

San Pedro (Calif.) linebacker Robert Franco (6-0, 220), is still waiting for his first scholarship offer, but the big hitting backer is getting much interest from the Pac-10 as well as Notre Dame.

"I'm hearing a lot from UCLA, Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Notre Dame and some other Pac-10 schools. Oregon State and Cal have been in contact. I went up to a junior day at Cal during the season, but I haven't been hearing much from them lately," said Franco.

Franco said, though, that one school stands out for him. "UCLA was the school I rooted for as a kid," said "I went to the UCLA-Oregon game, but I came kind of late. (UCLA assistant) Todd Howard is my recruiting coordinator. He's the one I've been talking to. I'm leaning towards UCLA. I just like their program."

Franco said he could also see himself committing early. "I don't want to speak too soon, but I could be an early commit," said Franco. "I'd still like to talk it over with my family. I would like to see what my options are, but I'd like to possibly get it over with early."

Franco said he's looking at a couple of factors when he chooses the college best for him. "The coaches will be big and the academics are a big part of it," said Franco. "I also want to see the program overall and the tradition. I would play anywhere, distance is not a factor for me. But my family has always wanted to see me play in college."

Playing inside for San Pedro, Franco said he anticipates playing on the weakside in college. Franco also plays fullback, but knows his future is on defense. "I'm more of a smart player who can read the plays and is quick to the ball. I can make the hits but always be around the ball. I liked watching Christian Taylor (of UCLA) last year."

This past January, Franco was at the U.S. Army Combine and next month he'll be at the New Level/Scout Pass Camp in Las Vegas and then the Scout Combine and Nike Camp in the spring.

During his 2007 all-state underclass junior season, Franco had 156 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles.

Academically, he has a 3.0 GPA and scored a 1500 on the SAT.

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