March 21, 2023

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DITR: Erick Franklin Jr.

Lake Charles College Prep strong safety Erick Franklin Jr. is one of the best ballhawks in the state and credits that to being a true student of the game. (Photo courtesy of Erick Franklin Jr.)

The Lake Charles College Prep Trailblazers are one of the most talented programs in Southern Louisiana and currently, they have a defensive back that is making a blaze on the 7 on 7 circuit and his name is Erick Franklin Jr. At 5’10, 185 pounds, Franklin has the physicality and the ball skills to be a great defensive back. It also helps to know that his father Erick Franklin Sr. was a great player in his own right at Louisiana Tech and also his current coach at Lake Charles College Prep. Growing up around the sport of football, it has taught the younger Franklin on how to be a true student of the game.

“It’s great honestly. I get coached very hard and also, I get to be a student of the game 24/7.”

Lake Charles College Prep Head Coach Erick Franklin Sr. celebrates his son Erick Franklin Jr. getting an interception return for a touchdown. (Photo courtesy of Erick Franklin Jr.)

Besides spending time with family and playing video games, football is all what Franklin enjoys doing even if it just means watching film.

Being a true student of the game has helped Franklin be one of the top defensive backs in the state of Louisiana for 2023 because of his ability to read the quarterback and break on the football as the last line of defense. Those ball skills were shown in the last 7 on 7 season in which he had seven interceptions in a matter of ten tournaments, but those skills also transferred over to the fall during his junior season.

“7 on 7 relates on Friday nights because 7 on 7 is so fast that is makes the Friday night games seem slower. Therefore, you will be able to react faster and be able to make big plays in big games.”

Lake Charles College Prep strong safety Erick Franklin Jr. has been a huge ball magnet on the 7 on 7 circuit with the EPS Blaze after having seven interceptions in ten tournaments.

The second-generation star strong safety certainly made a lot of big plays and it didn’t stop with 7 on 7. During the fall this past season, he went on to have six interceptions including 10 tackles and two interceptions in one game alone.

“I feel like I had a pretty solid season. I accomplished every goal I set for myself before the season. I would say my grade would be a B because I feel like I always have something to get better at.”

If there is something that he admits that he could get better at, it would be improving on his physical skills including getting stronger and faster. Roaming around at safety, he enjoys making big hits, but what he enjoys even more is becoming a playmaker for his team.

“I enjoy being able to kind of have control over the defense and also to be able to roam around and make plays. I rather make interceptions over big hits.”

Lake Charles College Prep strong safety Erick Franklin does what he does best and that is get interceptions. (Photo courtesy of Erick Franklin Jr.)

Because of his incredible ball skills, athleticism, and football I.Q., Franklin has received quite a lot of interest. Rated as a three-star prospect, the 1st Team All-District and All-State selection has received offers from Louisiana Tech, Grambling, ULM, Arkansas State, Southeast Missouri, and Eastern Illinois. Knowing that the Trailblazers have sent a lot of prospects to college and that Franklin Jr. has grown around the sport, he is absolutely loving the recruiting process.

“It’s very exciting for me and my family as I go through the recruiting process Schools that has impressed me so far are Arkansas State and Eastern Illinois.”

As far as what type of schools Franklin is searching for, it doesn’t matter as long as the school is the best fit for his talents.

“I don’t really have a school in mind honestly. I just want to go to a program that actually wants me and has good coaches for me to be better than I was when I got there.”

The same goes for his high school team in 2023. Of course, his personal goals are to make 1st Team All-District again, make 1st Team All-State, and sign in December, but he also wants to show the colleges that are recruiting him that he can be the best teammate possible.

“I want them to be able to come talk to me about anything. They can count on me to come in and give it 110% everyday for them to be ready to work and also let’s go win this championship!”

Like his father, Franklin is a coach on the field and prioritizes getting his teammates in the right position. According to Erick Franklin Jr., there are a lot of big, physical, fast defensive backs, but the great ones are always the defenders that are one step ahead of everybody else.

“I honestly think the biggest thing that separates myself from every safety in the state is how smart I am in football. I think me being the type of player I am, anybody can do what I do, but I am a smarter player than most at the age that I am.”

Studying the game and always learning, Erick Franklin Jr. is taking the game of football in stride as only a coach’s son can.

Being a coach’s son, Erick Franklin Jr. is a true student of the game and just enjoys being a part of it. (Photo courtesy of Erick Franklin Jr.)

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