USC has moved into a lead group position with DE Kamarion Franklin (6-5 265) of Lake Cormorant, MS following a two-day stay over the weekend. This was Franklin’s first im-person exposure to head coach Shane Beamer and the program he is developing in Columbia, and he feels the Gamecocks will be a factor in his recruiting to the end.
Late last year Franklin named a top ten that consisted of USC, Michigan, Texas, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Miami, Mississippi State, Alabama and Florida State. None have moved to the top but the Gamecocks have a reservation whenever he gets to the cut down list.
“They’ll be one of my top schools for sure” Franklin said. “I’m really trying to figure that (favorites list) out now. I don’t have any, but South Carolina, they did impress me.”
Franklin said what really impressed him was the attention he got from Beamer, defensive tackles coach Jimmy Lindsey and defensive ends coach Sterling Lucas. He said he felt very much at ease around the people in the program.
“The atmosphere, the love the coaches showed, you know I felt prioritized and I feel like they are serious about me, they’ve got a good program and the relationship with the coaches, Coach Beamer and Coach Lindsey stuck out to me,” Franklin said. “I just feel like they are keeping it real with me. Most schools will tell you what you want to hear, but they let me know what it is and what it ain’t.”
The Gamecocks also expressed to Franklin their desire for him to play a defensive end position with them. That was definitely something he wanted to hear.
“They have something they call the field end,” Franklin said. “They see me playing that strongside defensive end. That’s what I want to play. Most school say they want to use me inside, but I feel like I’m a defensive end.”
Before wrapping up his visit, Franklin said he got a few one-on-one minutes with Beamer.
“He just talked to me about ball and life after ball,” Franklin said. “He just let me know South Carolina is a good place. He just let me know how much of a priority I am and how much he wants me to get back.”
Franklin plans a return trip to USC this summer though no date has been set. This spring he has also been to Florida State, Auburn, Miami, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Arkansas. This weekend he will visit Miami and the following weekend he will be at Florida.