By: E’Vonne Gipson
On February 1st, Madison High School guard Edgard Franklin made one of his childhood dreams come true when he signed to Grambling State University.
The 6-foot-4 300 pound athlete says he has been watching Grambling football his entire life and will feel honored to become a true G-Man come the fall season.
“I’ve always said I was going to go to Grambling when I was younger and play in the Bayou Classic game,” Franklin said. “This past season I was excited when I was watching because I knew that they were going to win it all because of how hungry they were for that championship.”
On January 20th, Franklin got the opportunity to visit the campus where he met some of his future teammates, took a tour of the athletic facilities, and met all of the coaches.
Franklin believes playing football for the Tigers will prepare him for playing professional ball because of the well-trained and experienced coaching staff at the Grambling.
“One of the really great things about the GSU football program is they have coaches there that played professional ball so they know what it takes to get to the next level and get you on the right track as far as playing professional ball if that’s what the player wants to do,” Franklin said.
“Since my freshman year in high school I always said if nobody else makes it in football I’ll be the one to work hard to make my dreams come true so I can make myself proud, my mom proud and take care of my family.
Family is something extremely dear to the Franklin. In 2015, he tragically lost his mother. This traumatic event would forever change his life on and off the field.
“My mother was my biggest motivator,” Franklin said. “She was my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, she was everything I needed and ever could’ve asked for as a mother.” “During my mother’s battle in the hospital, it made me go harder on the field and in life because I had in my mind that when she got out I was going to make her more proud of me than she’d ever been before.”
One person who couldn’t be more proud of Franklin is his big sister and Grambling State alum, Florida Franklin.
“I am extremely proud of him,” Florida said. “After our mom passed in 2015 and after my graduation I was lost, confused, distraught, but I knew I had an assigned duty to take care of and be there for my brother.” “He was my responsibility.” “At times I thought I’d have to be strong from him, but he ended up being my back-bone during the difficult time.”
Florida said she loves her brother with all her heart and the feeling she gets when she sees her brother on the field tackling his opponents is indescribable. She explained that Franklin growing up without a father figure as a young man was difficult, but so many men stepped up and had a great impact on him and it is an honor for her just to call him her little brother and to be on this journey with him as he matures.
Franklin’s work ethic is something any college coach will look for. He prepares himself for a challenging game by watching and studying a lot of film. Franklin also prides himself on perfecting his craft. He routinely arrives at least an hour before practice and stays an additional hour or two after practice to continue working.
“I believe what makes me stand out from an average player that most coaches are looking for is my work ethic, I’m very coachable and most important my body frame.”
Franklin says the key differences he will have to face in transitioning from a high school athlete into a college athlete is more complex training and his responsibilities on and off the field.
He said that his High school coaches made him realize that going to college is not just about football, that it is about receiving a quality education and becoming a stronger man so that if he does not make it into the NFL he will have his degree to start a career in his field to take care of his family.
“My coaches gave me the advice to go in and work hard and don’t back down from nobody on the field, show them why you’re here,” Franklin said.”
Franklin will become a GSU student this summer in May where he will be matriculating in Mass Communication shortly after he graduates from High school. He will begin intense training and prepare for the season.