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Thad Franklin Establishing Himself As The Top Running Back In South Florida

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Franklin rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2019, and is one of the elite running backs in the country

247 Sports

The Hurricanes have always been able to have success with great running backs from South Florida, such as Willis McGahee, Duke Johnson and Frank Gore, just to name a few. Now, Miami has a running back committed for their 2021 class, also from South Florida, who is making a name for himself, 4-star Thad Franklin from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Broward County.

Franklin, who is perhaps the best running back in the entire state, established himself as an elite prospect in 2019, rushing for 2,282 yards and 28 touchdowns. In the title game, Franklin’s 333 rushing yards broke the Florida State championship game record, previously set by Travis Henry back in 1996. Franklin rushed for 913 yards and 14 touchdowns in the playoffs alone.

Sun Sentinel named Franklin Broward County Class 5A-1A offensive player of the year.

Franklin originally committed to Miami in 2018, then de-committed last December, shortly after the Hurricanes loss to FIU. Then, a few months later in February, Franklin announced he was re-committing to UM, and though there were recent reports he would open his search back up, he instead shut down his recruitment, saying he was locked in to Miami.

247 Sports has Franklin as the #10 running back in the 2021 cycle, #32 player in the state of Florida, and #223 nationally.

Last month, Franklin was named first-team All-State by MaxPreps for Florida, as well as first-team All-American by MaxPreps. Franklin has continued to receive accolades heading into his senior year, such as first-team All-USA by USA Today.

At 6-0 and weighing 225 pounds, Franklin has the size and durability that can make him a superstar at the college level. Any running back who rushes for over 2,000 yards in a season, playing in talent-loaded South Florida, deserves to be called one of the best in the country, and honestly, I think he’s underrated on recruiting websites.

With a powerful frame, Franklin reminds me of the late Tyrone Moss, another Broward County product, who was Miami’s running back from 2003 to 2006. Moss didn’t have breakaway speed that most look for, but he was productive and effective for the Canes offense. Franklin has also gained comparison to Najeh Davenport.

Franklin is similar to Moss, won’t blow you away with his speed like Lamar Miller or Jaylan Knighton, but he has the ability to take on a heavy workload, carrying the ball 288 times in 2019. Also being an all-around effective back, Franklin averaged nearly 8 yards per carry last year. Once he gets through the line of scrimmage and into the open field, Franklin is tough to bring down.

Watching his film more and studying his game, I’m impressed at Franklin’s ability to make quick decisions, not dancing around in the backfield. He can also flash quickness that helps him outrun the secondary.

Franklin is one of three players from Chaminade-Madonna committed to Miami in 2021, along with 3-star kicker Andres Borregales, and 3-star defensive tackle Allan Haye. Franklin is also the only running back committed to Miami for 2021, after the Hurricanes signed two in their last recruiting class with Knighton and Don Chaney Jr.

Coming to Miami, I think Franklin will fit in nice with Rhett Lashlee’s offense, with his size serving as a complement to the speed of Knighton and Chaney. Looking ahead to the future, the trio of Franklin, Knighton and Chaney, could give Miami one of the best running back rooms in college football.