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Athlete Worth Watching: Ja’Mion Franklin of North Caroline High School

Jul 20, 2017 11:45AM ● By Caley Breese
By Caley Breese

Working hard and staying focused are two of Ja’mion Franklin’s top priorities as he heads into his senior year at North Caroline High School located on the Eastern Shore. The 17-year-old who hails from Ridgely, Maryland, is determined and driven to leave a long-lasting impact on his football team and to continue his career in college.

Franklin is a three-sport varsity athlete for the Bulldogs, exceeding at football, basketball, and track and field, and carries a 3.5 GPA, as well. He began playing sports at a young age and was encouraged by his dad to pursue athletics.

“He saw the potential in me and what I could do, and he just encouraged me and everything that I decided to do as far as sports,” Franklin recalls.

While he works hard at those three sports, Franklin is primarily focused on his football career.

“All year round, I try to stay as active as possible. I lift all the time. I probably lift at least three days a week, scheduled. Then I always do some extra, whether it’s cardio or jump rope, or just working on little things, like technique for football,” he describes.

Franklin, a six-foot-two defensive tackle, is very eager to continue his football career in college. His hard work has surely paid off, receiving full scholarship offers from colleges like Notre Dame, Virginia, Duke, Syracuse, Pitt—and many more.

“It’s a humbling thing to see all my hard work finally paying off because I’ve been [teased] for a long time, being from the Eastern Shore,” Franklin explains. “It’s politics. If you’re from a small 2A school in a town surrounded by cornfields, they don’t really think you can [play]. But it’s just given me the [incentive] and it’s really humbling.”
Humble is a good word to describe Franklin. During his time at North Caroline, he has been awarded with several honors, including first-team All-Bayside in football, as well as being second in state for the discus throw in track and field during his sophomore year. To Franklin, however, it’s the team honors that he’s mainly focused on.

“I’m more team-oriented. The single accolades have come through, the offers, all that. I’m very excited about that but I’m focused on making my team better and being a leader, and showing guys like, ‘Hey, I’m from the Eastern Shore and I’ve done this. And you guys can do it too if you work hard!” he explains.

Franklin certainly seems to understand how much work goes into being a student-athlete in college and remains motivated by his goals.

“It’s definitely a difficult task, but if you know where you want to be—and I know what my goals are—I know that it’s only going to get harder, so it’s better to get used to it now because athletes in college—it gets a little tougher. But I’ve definitely learned that the social portion is not as important as people make it seem because when you’re making your goals, the social part comes to you. A lot of people focus on going out of their way to be social, but it’s not really worth it. When you’re set on your goals and you have the toolset to get where you want to be, it’s not really as important.”