Madison Prep Academy guard Edgard Franklin made one of his dreams as a young boy come true when he committed to Grambling State University on January 21. He will officially sign to GSU on National Signing Day, Wednesday, February 1.
The 6-foot-4 300 pound athlete says he has been watching Grambling football his entire life and will feel honored to be called a true G-Man come the fall season.
“I’ve always said I was going to go to Grambling when I was younger and play in the Bayou Classic game,” Franklin said. “This past season I was excited when I was watching because I knew that they were going to win it all because of how hungry they were for that championship.”
Franklin says playing football for the Tigers will prepare him for playing professional ball after college because of the well-trained and experienced coaching staff at the university.
On January 20, he got the opportunity to visit the campus where he met some of his future teammates, took a tour of the athletic facilities and met all of the coaches.
“One of the really great things about the GSU football program is they have coaches there that played professional ball so they know what it takes to get to the next level and get you on the right track as far as playing professional ball if that’s what the player wants to do,” Franklin said.
In his case, he’s had the dream of going to the NFL for quite some time. After going back and forward between basketball and football, he finally fell in love with putting those pads and helmet on and blocking for his teammates every weekend.
“Since my freshman year in high school I always said if nobody else makes it in football I’ll be the one to work hard to make my dreams come true so I can make myself proud, my mom proud and take care of my family.
The word and meaning of family are something extremely dear to the athlete, as in 2015 he went through the tragic loss of his mother, that changed his life forever on and off the field.
“My mother was my biggest motivator,” Franklin said. “She was my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, she was everything I needed and ever could’ve asked for as a mother.” “During my mother’s battle in the hospital, it made me go harder on the field and in life because I had in my mind that when she got out I was going to make her more proud of me than she’d ever been before.”
The Jonesville native plans to continue to work as hard as he possibly can to make sure he keeps his promise in making his now guardian angel proud.
One person who couldn’t be more proud of Franklin is his big sister and Grambling State alum, Florida Franklin.
“I am extremely proud of him,” Florida said. “After our mom passed in 2015 and after my graduation, I was lost, confused, distraught, but I knew I had an assigned duty to take care of and be there for my brother.” “He was my responsibility.” “At times I thought I’d have to be strong for him, but he ended up being my back-bone during the difficult time.”
Florida said she loves her brother with all her heart and the feeling she gets when she sees her brother on the field tackling his opponents is indescribable. She explained that Franklin growing up without a father figure as a young man was difficult, but so many men stepped up and had a great impact on him and it is an honor for her just to call him her little brother and to be on this journey with him as he matures.
Starting off just as a ‘youngin’, Franklin recalls always playing football with his friends when he was younger, but he always thought about being a basketball player, that is where his heart initially was until so many people told him “you’re a built like a football player”.
Not long after Franklin decided to take football seriously and began playing football daily, fell in love with the sport and gave up basketball to focus on football.
“I believe what makes me stand out from an average player that most coaches are looking for is my work ethic, I’m very coachable and most importantly my body frame.”
Franklin’s work ethic is something any college coach would look for in a player, the athlete says that he prepares himself for a challenging game by watching and studying a lot of films and working on his craft extremely hard at least an hour before practice as well as staying an hour or two after practice to continue working.
He mentioned the key differences he will have to face in transitioning from a high school athlete into a college athlete is participating in more complex training and developing additional responsibilities on and off the field.
His high school coaches made him realize that going to college is not just about football, that it is about receiving a quality education and becoming a stronger man, therefore, if the NFL isn’t in his future, he will have his degree to start a career in his college field to take care of his family.
“My coaches gave me the advice to go in and work hard and don’t back down from nobody on the field, show them why you’re here,” Franklin said.”
Franklin will officially become a GSU student this summer in May where he will be matriculating in Mass Communication shortly after he graduates from high school. This summer he will also begin intense training and prepare for the season.