By DAVID CLAYBOURN
In John Franklin, Stephen F. Austin State University is getting a 6-4, 255-pound defensive end that was fast enough last season to run on the sprint relay.
The senior from Greenville signed a letter of intent with the Lumberjacks on Wednesday after receiving offers from Midwestern State, West Texas A&M, Pittsburg State (Kan.), Abilene Christian, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas-San Antonio and Central Oklahoma.
“I’m ready to go play already,” said Franklin.
Franklin was a two-team all-District 13-4A selection for the Lions. He registered 83 tackles and 10 quarterback sacks this past season and 106 tackles and 13 tackles as a junior.
“Teams ran away from him and double-teamed him a lot this year,” said Lions defensive coordinator Darren Duke.
Franklin said the best part about being a defensive end is rushing the quarterback.
“I like to embarrass the offensive linemen,” he said.
Franklin said he chose SFA because of a family-like atmosphere he felt on his visit.
“I just like the school spirit and everything,” he said.
“John is another big, strong body at the defensive end, which this program needs,” said Clint Conque, the Lumberjacks’ new head coach. “Everyone had their eyes on him and we feel fortunate he chose to come here. I’m excited about his maturity and he is a very explosive athlete that has a chance to fill a spot right away.”
Franklin said it was fun being heavily-recruited but appears to be glad the process is over.
“It was stressful figuring out where I wanted to go,” he said.