This past Wednesday, four star offensive tackle Jamall Franklin Jr. announced his college decision in front of his friends and family at the place that he has called home the last two seasons, which has been Scotlandville Magnet High School located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“It was really crazy. I never realized that I had this much support from so many people. I feel really blessed. I am grateful for my mom and my family. I have a great support system. I didn’t know that I meant that much to my teammates and my peers at school.”
At the commitment ceremony, Franklin had his options down to UL, Tulane, Missouri, Jackson State, and Houston. Even though the public would not know Franklin’s decision until the ceremony, the four star offensive tackle prospect already knew that his decision had been made as it was the Houston Cougars that won the Jamall Franklin Jr. sweepstakes.
“I honestly decided that I was going to make Houston my home that second time I made my visit, which was two weeks before I committed. I went down to Houston the last week of July, and the second visit was more of just getting a feel for the place even more, talking to the coaches, the players, getting closer to them, and building a stronger bond to them. After that visit, I knew that it was going to be the place that I would call home so I decided to pull the trigger and go ahead and commit.”
It wasn’t just the second visit that Franklin felt that he was the top priority.
“Both times, they made me feel important. My first visit was my first time really going to the city of Houston so they really made me feel important. They made me feel like it was my home away from home. The second time, they really gave me a deep dive on what it was going to be like living here over the next four years, seeing how the players, live, workout, and how they maneuver. They just showed me how important I was and how much of a difference I can make to the program.”
The coaching staff certainly showed their ability to pitch him about how much he would mean coming to the program. He has built great relationships with offensive line coach Brandon Jones and offensive analyst JaJuan Dulaney. His future coaches see him as an offensive tackle, but for Franklin, he feels that he is versatile to play every position on the offensive line.
“Coach Jones sees me as a tackle, but I can play anywhere on the offensive line: guard, center, left tackle, right tackle, etc. Most colleges see me as a tackle, but with my versatility, they will be able to put me in wherever they need me to play.”
The Houston commit can now focus on his senior season playing for the Hornets as he not only wants to add more tools to his disposal, but he also wants to end his high school career with a championship.
“I for sure want to win a state championship, but I also want to make 1st Team All-State as well. I want to taste a championship to see how it feels. I want to make All-State because I’ve had that chip on my shoulder all offseason. Not only that, but I want to bring attention to my teammates so I want to scouts to come out to not only watch me, but come look for the next great players to come out of Scotlandville.”
There have been a lot of great prospects to come out of Scotlandville and have incredible careers, but none had been through the type of journey that Jamall Franklin Jr. has had in his life. For starters, coming in as a transfer from Port Allen High School, he had to sit out his sophomore season due to LHSAA transfer rules. Also, the 6’8, 379 pound offensive tackle used to be 440 pounds so keeping himself in shape was an uphill climb for him. However, Franklin committed to himself, stayed true to his diet, got himself in shape, and lost 70 pounds. Having the mental focus to continue bettering his body is just as impressive as his physical tools may also indicate. Now, he is a Division I football signee.
“It was a tough journey and it was never going to be an easy one. First of all, I wanted to give thanks to God because without God, nothing is possible. I kept my faith and I kept my support system, which is my immediate family including my mom, my aunt, and my cousins. My immediate family was my support system and I just kept holding my head high when all of that was going on. I was 14 so being a young kid while also trying to make those big decisions that were thrown at you at such a young age, it forces you to mature at an early age. I was glad to have my mom with me, my stepfather, and everybody else that supported me with me.”
“It was a tough journey losing weight. My coaches pushed me every day. Even though I couldn’t play my sophomore year, I still came to practice every day. My coaches believed in me even though I couldn’t play on Fridays. That’s what motivated me to do better and better for my junior year. Now, I am continuing to push forward for my senior year trying to perfect my craft and trying to be the best player that I can be so I can get to the next level.”
Right now, as the upcoming season approaches, this physical specimen is continuing to work on his flexibility and also becoming a student of the game by watching film when he got back surgery a couple of months ago. Studying film on great NFL offensive tackles Orlando Pace and Tyron Smith has helped the senior Hornet’s game a lot for this upcoming year. Adding that to his physical size and already high IQ of the game can make him a special player for years to come.
“I’m a hard working player. I will do whatever for my team. I will put it all on the line for the team not only as a player, but also as a great young man. I am very approachable and very easy to talk to. They are receiving a great player and a great mentor not only to the team, but to the city also.”
Despite being one of the top recruits in the state of Louisiana and now being a Houston football commit, Jamall Franklin remains grateful to everybody that has helped him along the way including his family and coaches. Although Franklin’s physical appearance may be intimidating to a lot of people, he is still all about helping others and giving back to the people that have helped him out the most.
He also understands that is not all about the destination that defines you, but it is the journey that does. His message is the same when it comes to kids that are trying to overcome big hurdles earlier in their life such as obesity and that nothing is impossible with the right state of mind.
“I tell them not to worry about what anybody says about you. It’s a process. It’s not going to happen overnight. You are not going to lose five pounds in one day or lose 20 pounds in one week. It’s a process. Embrace the process. Embrace the journey because at the end of the day, you can be the same as I am and say that you lost 70 plus pounds, which is what a lot of people can’t do in their lifetime. Enjoy the process, don’t worry what anybody else says, get yourself a group of people that is going to motivate you and want you to do better for yourself not matter how bad days can be. They will keep motivating you and telling you that you can do it. Surround yourself, keep the faith, talk to God every night, and don’t think everything is going to happen overnight.”
The old saying goes that you get what you put in and that saying embodies everything for Scotlandville’s four star prospect and now Houston commit Jamall Franklin Jr.
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