• John Macon Gillespie

Franklin Eyeing Big Yardage In 2016

A name that has been coming up in Mississippi high school football talks lately is Fabian Franklin. However, it was a name not many around the state of Mississippi had ever even heard of back at the beginning of the 2015 season.

Franklin entered his sophomore season with the goal of making his mark when given the opportunity. When Hattiesburg head coach Tony Vance called his number, the young hardnosed running back did not disappoint. In the season opener versus Petal, the eventual 6A South Champions, Franklin put the team on his shoulders with 16 carries for 123 yards and a score as his Tigers got the win in an 18-13 hard fought battle.

Franklin went on to rush for over a 1,000 yards with 14 total touchdowns, numbers the young man was pleased with.

“First off, it took God,” Franklin told SES Mississippi. “I felt that I needed to be ready when Coach called my name, and I was able to do those things because I ran the ball hard.”

When asked if he was surprised by how well his season went, Franklin did not think there was anything special about it at all. “I thought I was just a normal player running the football,” Franklin added.

Franklin seemed to thrive in those between the tackle runs. A running back that seeks out contact is a special thing. His approach to it is simple, and it comes from a coaching philosophy that has been hovering over high school football fields for decades…Be the hammer not the nail.

“I knew when I was going to get tackled so I ran the ball extremely hard,” Franklin explained. “If I did that, I would be the one bringing the heat to him instead of him bringing it to me.”

Franklin has seen his recruiting stock explode over the past couple of months with Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines being the latest to offer the young playmaker.

This off-season, Franklin plans to do whatever it takes to make himself a more complete running back.

“I am doing everything I need to do to be better than last season,” Franklin said. “I’m doing more of the lower body work and off course the upper body. I’m getting faster. I want to rush for more yards than I did last year and be a stronger more powerful running back.” **Photo by Mark Magee.

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