We’re down to 44 days until kickoff, and we have another freshman linebacker/defensive lineman on the docket. Brailyn Franklin joined the Nittany Lions as part of the 2017 recruiting class, listed as a 3-star athlete from the state of Virginia. Brailyn spent the 2017 season redshirting, giving him time to add to his 6’2”, 200-pound frame - which appears to have been successful, as he’s now listed at 247 pounds.
Given the depth issues at linebacker, many expect to see Franklin work his way into the rotation as the season goes on. He’ll have to supplant freshman phenom Micah Parsons, as well as more established linebackers Jake Cooper and Jarvis Miller in order to do so, but Brent Pry has shown that he likes to rotate as many players on defense as possible to spread the experience around.
Another wrinkle to the discussion is the possibility of incorporating Brailyn as a tweener defensive end. He has the quickness and just enough size to operate as a stand up defensive end, operating between two roles. If nothing else, watch for Franklin on special teams in 2018, looking to put a hurting on some opposing return men.
44 days to go!