Thad Franklin only needed a little more than two months to rethink his decision to commit to the Miami Hurricanes. He had been pledged to Miami for more than a year when he decided to back off his commitment late in 2019. Two months and two days later, he decided he wanted back in the Hurricanes’ Class of 2020, so he made another oral commitment in February.
His latest commitment sort of came out of nowhere. It was a dead period in the recruiting calendar, although Franklin had attended a junior day in Coral Gables a few weeks earlier. The four-star running back said he just needed some time to think over his decision. Family eventually pushed him to stick with the hometown team.
“It was family, so I finally decided to stay home. That was it,” Franklin said after playing in the Class 3A boys’ basketball semifinals for Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna last Wednesday in Lakeland. “My parents — I want to stay close to them, so I decided to stay home.”
Franklin committed back to Miami last month after using January as a chance to assess some of his options. He took an unofficial visit with the South Carolina Gamecocks for a junior day, but otherwise he mostly stayed home, busy starting at guard for Chaminade-Madonna on its run to the state semifinals.
Franklin finished his junior season for the Lions averaging about nine points per game and he scored a team-high 19 points in Chaminade-Madonna’s semifinal loss to Boca Raton Saint Andrew’s at the RP Funding Center. A few days later, Franklin was fully back in football mode, competing at the Under Armour All-America camp in Coconut Creek, where he was one of the top-performing running backs. His commitment in February continued the Hurricanes’ success in landing the top-ranked tailbacks in South Florida after Miami signed four-star running backs Donald Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton in the Class of 2020.
Franklin is currently the No. 11 running back in the 247Sports.com composite rankings for the Class of 2021 and the top-ranked player at his position in the Miami metropolitan area. As a junior, he ran for 2,282 yards and 28 touchdowns on 288 carries, caught four passes for 50 yards, and even went 5 of 9 for 123 yards, a touchdown and an interception as a Wildcat quarterback.
A few current players helped pitch Franklin — Chaney had been recruiting Franklin, and Franklin said he and former Lions safety Keontra Smith “are boys” — but ultimately his decision was just about his longstanding affection for the Hurricanes and the ability to stay close to home.
“My mom is excited. She didn’t want me to leave,” Franklin said. “Just knowing my family’s not going to be able to watch me live, they would have to watch me on TV. That’s what really made me want to stay, so they could come down there to the games and stuff.”
Said Chaminade-Madonna coach Dameon Jones: “I think he just wanted to see what was out there to see he was making the right choice. ... He just liked Miami.”
While Franklin didn’t rule out taking other visits down the road, he has nothing planned now and doesn’t think he’ll do the typical spring or summer tour of bouncing around to different schools across the Southeast.
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After thinking over his decision for a few months, Franklin said he’s “100-percent” locked in with the Hurricanes.
“I’m 100-percent Miami,” the halfback said. “I’m going to take officials, but I don’t know about unofficials.”