The Philadelphia Catholic League has begun to produce more BCS talent in recent years, and the Class of 2014 also has a few intriguing prospects. One of these is linebacker Zaire Franklin of Philadelphia (Pa.) LaSalle, who took a few visits this fall and hopes to hit the road for a few more this winter.
"Penn State and Villanova were at my practice tonight (Tuesday night)," said Franklin, who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds. "I'm also hearing a lot from West Virginia, Ohio State, Maryland, Temple and Rutgers."
Franklin took recent visits to two of these schools this fall.
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"I was at Penn State's game against Wisconsin, where I met their linebacker's coach, and I also attended the Rutgers game against Syracuse in October," he said. "The atmosphere and game at Penn State were great, especially since it was their last game and senior day. The Rutgers game was great also, but I had to leave early because I had a game that night."
When he has more time, Franklin has a few more visits in mind.
"I really wanted to go to check out West Virginia when they played Oklahoma, but I had a game," said Franklin. "I also want to check out Rutgers again, Maryland and Ohio State."
In January, Franklin will also attend the U.S. Army All-American Combine.
"I want to show every school in the country that I can compete at a high level against the best competition in the country," he said. "I really want to play in the U.S. Army Bowl game too."
While a majority of high school recruits are already concluded with their season, Franklin and his LaSalle teammates are still churning their way to a state championship.
"The season has been great so far," he said. "I got 1st team All-League and my team is playing in the state semifinals this Friday, so this year is going great."
Heading into the Coatesville game this Friday night, Franklin has approximately 80 tackles, eight sacks and three forced fumbles.
"My patience and confidence have definitely improved," he said. "I learned that you have to be patient enough to know when to go for the big play, and have the confidence to know you can make the play."