The Syracuse coaching staff chose two players to represent the program at Sunday–Tuesday’s ACC Media Days. There were no surprises when it was announced that senior quarterback Terrel Hunt would be one player present at the festivities in North Carolina. Many fans did not expect to see the staff’s defensive selection get the nod however, sophomore linebacker Zaire Franklin.
Some fans thought senior defensive end Ron Thompson was more deserving. In terms of seniority, that might be true; but it’s no mistake that Franklin was selected.
He’s only in his second season and already has players looking up to him. That’s what 2015 linebacker signee Troy Henderson Jr. told the Fizz last summer. He’s a natural leader, intelligent and also very outspoken; don’t be surprised if Franklin is named a captain at the end of Syracuse’s summer camp.
On the field next season, Franklin will take over as the team’s top linebacker. This might seem like a lot, but he’ll be ready. Last year he learned from two of the best in Cam Lynch and Dyshawn Davis. Plus, he played a fair amount himself as a true freshman. In Syracuse’s second to last game of the season he finished with ten tackles in a 30-7 loss to Pittsburgh.
Syracuse only returns four other impact defensive players from last year’s team: Thompson, linebacker Marquez Hodge, cornerback Wayne Morgan (who was injured for most of 2014) and safety Julian Whigham. Franklin may only be a sophomore, but his time is now; this year he’s the guy for SU on defense.
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Posted: Connor Morrissette