“First of all, I’m not from Virginia.”
That’s at the top of the list of information new Penn State pledge Brailyn Franklin wants fans to know. He’s originally from Texas, where his mother currently lives, and his father lives in Virginia, where Franklin plays football for Battlefield.
The second item?
“The (Penn State) class that I’m in, who I’m with, I feel that Penn State has a shot at winning the Big Ten and national championship. Honestly.”
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The Nittany Lions scored their fifth verbal pledge in less than two weeks on Tuesday, as Class of 2017 athlete Franklin picked Penn State.
Franklin, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound prospect, is ranked as a three-star player in 247Sports composites and the No. 61 athlete in the nation. As a junior, he played nose tackle, receiver and cornerback and racked up 18 sacks while earning second-team all-state honors.
Franklin said he made his decision heading into Penn State’s Lasch Bash in July.
“I hadn’t announced it,” he said via phone on Tuesday afternoon. “It was just between me and the coaches at first. I told coach (Brent) Pry, told him I wanted to commit to the school. … He said ‘Well, that’s great, have you talked to (head coach James) Franklin about it?’”
The younger Franklin then informed the Nittany Lions head coach of his decision, after which the two, along with Franklin’s parents, set up announcement dates for the linebacker to go public.
Franklin said he will play outside linebacker for Penn State, and has already been in touch with class leader Dylan Rivers, a fellow ‘backer. He has also kept contact with senior linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White, and said he wishes the latter would still be around to play with him as a Nittany Lion when he gets to campus.
He also picked Penn State for its strong academic reputation — “it’s a tremendously smart school” — and appeal to his family, factors that matched his excitement to be coached by Pry.
“I had a great bonding with coach Pry and coach Franklin,” he said. “We talk probably almost every day. I call them up two days a week.
“I like the way coach Pry plays his linebackers. … I like the fact that he’s an energetic coach, he likes to get at it. … He makes you actually want to do what he says, and he’s a coach where you can talk to him any time about anything.”
Penn State’s 2017 commitment class now sits at 13 members.