During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Today we turn our attention to Jaylan Franklin.
From Monday, Jim Leonhard spent a lot of time working with guys on tackling technique. Freshman @JaylanFranklin_ (#42) is an OLB with good, quick pass rushing skills who is gaining confidence daily according to OLB coach Bobby April. #badgers pic.twitter.com/VMv1ufOBJ7— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 7, 2019
Name: Jaylan Franklin
Position: outside linebacker
2020 eligibility: redshirt sophomore
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 3-star, No. 53 athlete, Rockwood, Mich.
2018 recruitment: A skinny 6-foot-4 athlete in high school, Jaylan Franklin was actually a quarterback and outside linebacker for his high school team. During his recruitment many schools were split on his future position, as some saw his upside as an outside linebacker, while others thought he might bulk up to be a great tight end prospect.
The Badgers were able to close on the talented playmaker in June of 2017, and he was one of five Michigan natives to sign with Wisconsin during the 2018 cycle. Franklin chose to play for the Badgers over other offers of note from Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Washington State among others.
Career statistics: 14 games played, two tackles, one sack
2019 statistics: 14 games played, two tackles, one sack
Player overview: Originally committed to play tight end for the Badgers, Franklin quickly switched to outside linebacker during his first year on campus. After a redshirt season, Franklin saw playing time last year for the first time with Bobby April’s group after adding around 30 pounds.
Franklin was busy on multiple special teams packages in 2019, and was also able to to gain valuable experience early in the season at outside linebacker.
A quick and “twitchy” athlete according to my interview with Bobby April last fall, Franklin is a player that the staff is extremely high given his natural athleticism and bendability at 6-foot-4.
Best case scenario for 2020: After a strong off-season of adding additional strength to go with his explosiveness, Franklin is able to make waves early in fall camp thanks to his ability to get after the quarterback. The sophomore standout pushes Izayah Green-May for playing time, and earns reps in the rotation. He takes advantage of more opportunities and records six sacks on the season as a pass rusher. Franklin also continues to help out in special teams, and sets himself up for an even bigger role as a junior.
Likely role on team in 2020: One of the best raw athletes on the defense, Franklin has an opportunity for a bigger role in 2020 with Zack Baun, Tyler Johnson and Christian Bell no longer in the picture.
There will undoubtedly be competition for positions in the two-deep come fall camp, but Franklin’s abilities should give him a great shot of seeing the field in a greater capacity this season.