Franklin Talks Busy Spring

Darrian Franklin

2016 four-star Downey (Calif.) outside linebacker Darrian Franklin says that UCLA is already in his early top five as he prepares to take visits...

Downey (Calif.) junior linebacker Darrian Franklin wanted to hit the Midwest this summer.

Franklin is only one of a dozen recruits on the West Coast with scholarship offers from schools in multiple conferences.

Franklin took an unofficial visit to Michigan after his freshman year. It’s a trip he represents proudly on his Twitter page. But plans to visit again this summer fell through.

“Yeah, we just didn’t have the time, so I ended up not going,” said Franklin. “Me and my dad were going to visit Michigan, Michigan State and maybe Ohio State just get a feel of the East Coast.

“I wanted to see what that’s like — the whole atmosphere and get off the West Coast.

“My dad, he’s from the Midwest and he wants me to go see that part of life and the difference between California and the East Coast. He just wants me to see how much football means to them as opposed to out here.”

Franklin was in attendance for the USC Rising Stars Camp in June, although he only observed the first half of the camp.

“I got to see the start of the USC camp, but that’s it because I’ve been busy moving,” said Franklin. “I haven’t gone to any camps, really.”

No camps, but his contact with the local schools remains constant.

“USC is real interested in me” said Franklin. “They’re showing the most interest. — UCLA too. Those are the local schools that are really on me tough. Washington, they’re showing a lot of love as well.”

Franklin attended several USC spring practices in April and was offered a scholarship in person by the Trojans coaching staff after the team’s first scrimmage.

“I like the way they’re recruiting me and how they are trying to build up their team and they’re recruiting young guys like me,” said Franklin. “I see the class they’re building for the future trying to bring us all in together to turn that school out.”

The Bruins, however, were not to be outdone. UCLA also received unofficial visits from Franklin which raised his interest in the football program.

“Yeah I’ve been down there and it’s real nice,” said Franklin. “I like what Coach (Jim) Mora is trying to do and the practices — the way they turn the practice up — it’s high tempo and the music and everything. I like that.”

Franklin went on to say that he's built a good relationship with UCLA linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich.

"Coach Ulbrich, he's been hitting me on Twitter all the time," Franklin said. "I can just feel the passion from him. He tells me to keep up my body and not doing anything stupid like get hurt."

Franklin said UCLA was definitely in his top five at the moment, particularly after visiting for the spring game.

"I loved seeing the whole atmosphere with the team, and how they get down with football," Franklin said. "They like me as an outside linebacker, in that Myles Jack role, as just kind of an athletic guy who can do it all.

"I went to a bunch of UCLA games this year, and watched a ton, so that's a really fun comparison for me."

At this point, Franklin says he wants to see the recruiting process through to the very end.

“Yes sir, I want to take all of my visits,” said Franklin.

Although Franklin is enjoying the recruiting process, it’s far from a priority. Blessed with scholarship offers from schools like Miami, USC, UCLA, Arizona State and others already, he still has plenty to prove his junior year.

“I want to work on my linebacker technique — my keys,” said Franklin. “At receiver, I’m going to hold off on that and just focus on linebacker and being the best linebacker I can possibly be. I know for college I’m going to be a linebacker, so I want to prepare for the next level.”

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