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June 10, 2008

Curley's Franklin discusses his UM commitment

Eric Franklin was just getting ready to start his busy summer football recruiting tour.

The Archbishop Curley safety sported offers from Maryland, Akron, Buffalo and Richmond, but wanted to see what a few other schools had to offer.

“I actually was going to go down to Duke and Virginia, take visits there, and I had a few one-day camps,” Franklin said. “Delaware, I could’ve gone down [Sunday]. [I was planning to] see schools and work out and stuff.”

But a recent visit to College Park quashed those plans. On Sunday, Franklin verbally committed to Maryland.

“After the second visit I took down there,” Franklin said, “I realized it was the school for me and made my decision. It feels great. Things were really hectic in the spring, trying to talk to all the coaches. It feels good now that it’s all over and I can focus on the football season coming up.”

While Franklin said it was a relief to have made his commitment, it’s not as if the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder is used to anything but a hectic schedule.

Franklin, a 4.0 student, plays football, basketball and runs track for the Friars. This spring, Franklin went undefeated in the 110 hurdles and was part of Curley’s MIAA record-setting 800 relay team, which earned him a nod on The Sun's All-Metro first team. In between playing three sports and maintaining a perfect grade point average, Franklin plays the alto saxophone in the school’s concert band.

“I usually get about six hours of sleep during the school year every night,” Franklin said. “But after awhile I get used to it, so it doesn’t bother me. You just go to school, go to practice, come home for a little bit and rest, then do homework and get down to business. Then go to sleep and do it again the next day.”

Franklin thinks his non-stop schedule will help ease his transition in college, where he’ll try to juggle football and his major of choice, civil engineering.

“What they’ve told me is, it’s going to be hard and tough, but they told me I can do it,” Franklin said. “It’ll be tough, but I can get it done.”

Maryland’s engineering program was a big selling point for Franklin. On his second visit to College Park, he toured the engineering facilities and met with department officials. The tour sold Franklin on pursuing engineering, something he’s always wanted to study.

“Ever since I was a little kid I just wanted to do engineering,” Franklin said. “Then I just decided I was interested in civil engineering the most. Just designing stuff, the buildings and bridges and that kind of thing, I’m just really interested in that.”

Beyond academics, Franklin’s obviously excited for the football opportunities at UM. Franklin contributed 99 tackles, 32 of which were unassisted, and six interceptions from the free safety position for Curley as a junior. He also caught 12 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns at tight end.

Franklin thinks he’ll have to bulk up a bit before making serious contributions for the Terps, but that shouldn’t be a huge issue once he gets into the weight room full-time -- something his current schedule hasn't afforded him.

With his commitment to Maryland, Franklin will now have the opportunity to start hitting the weight room more frequently. And he'll be able to prepare for his senior season without the distractions of the summer combine circuit and meet-and-greets with other college coaches.

“My summer was planned out to do a couple visits,” Franklin said, “but now I don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

Click here for Curley coach Sean Murphy's take on Franklin.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:39 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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