Orlando Franklin emerged as a big-time football player this season -- his first in America. Now he's…
With the Florida Gators losing four offensive line starters to graduation, linemen have become a hot commodity for the Gators. After a sterling senior season, Franklin merited a scholarship offer from Florida and decided he would come in for a visit.
He really enjoyed the visit to the smaller town school and likes the atmosphere surrounding Gainesville and the Florida campus.
"It was a good visit, it was nice," Franklin said. "It was a good environment, a good community. I liked the chance to hang out with the team and the coaches. It's a nice college campus. There are a lot of people and the players are well known. The players are treated great."
He was hosted by a fellow south Floridian in Dorian Munroe. Munroe is as redshirt freshman safety from Miami.
"My host was D-Mo," Franklin said. "He is cool he and is from down in Miami -- he is cool people."
The scholarship offer came for Franklin last month. He visited Friday Night Lights in the summer, a Florida camp under the lights in the Swamp and has since maintained contact with the coaching staff. Eventually, his senior season merited him a scholarship offer from the Gators.
"They were late offering me, they told me they were trying to figure out who could play where and then they realized they needed tackles," he said. "They always talked to me on the phone, but they finally offered me at the start of December.
"They told me they have place for me and they are going to come hard at me for the last few weeks. I feel like they have come at me somewhat already, but now they will step it up more. I am curious to see what it will be like."
Franklin is fond of the coaching staff. He got along great with Offensive Line Coach John Hevesy, who Franklin says is a bit humorous but very fatherly.
"Coach Holliday is recruiting me, he is great, a real good guy, real down to earth," Franklin said. "I got to meet his family up there. Coach Hevesy is all about life lessons, he tells me. He tries to teach me a lesson every time I meet him. I can't really repeat what he said this time (he laughs as if it was unprintable). He is one of those guys that tries to do everything in his power to help his guys."
"The Gators are in the top three with Miami and FSU," he said. "I will base my decision on graduating, the coaches, and the environment."
Franklin stood out at Friday Night Lights. He has enormous size and moves well for that size. Being from South Florida, it's always good to snag one from those fertile recruiting grounds.