The Golden Bears secondary has distinguished itself this year with its marked improvement since last season. The newest addition to Cal's pool of talent is junior college sophomore, Marloshawn Franklin, who committed to Cal on December 8th. Here are his ratings from the major recruiting services.
Rivals: 3 stars
24/7 Scout: 3 stars, 16th at his position, 21st in his state
ESPN: No Ranking
Listed at 6'1" 185 pounds, Franklin enters the program with great physical specs and with two years of collegiate eligibility, which is plenty of time to make his presence known.
- From the very first play Franklin displays his physicality. He seems to be very comfortable playing on the line. He gives a solid jam and forces the receiver toward the outside, not only delaying the route but also establishing his position in the throwing lane. He keeps his feet moving after engaging the block, literally taking his mark out of play.
- At 0:31 he shows his ability to break on the throw out of the zone, getting there in time to make a play on the ball while simultaneously restricting the receiver's forward shoulder.
- The two plays beginning at 0:40 show that he tracks the ball well even over the shoulder, which no doubt contributed to his 12 PBU over his sophomore season.
- An area of concern for him is his deep ball coverage. He seems to have trouble covering faster receivers in zone, a weakness that a solid Division I QB/WR pair can take advantage of. That being said, he is excellent in short yardage situations. His ability to knock a receiver off his track paired with his size and ball tracking makes him a difficult defender to slip past by. At 2:05 he guards a quick goal line corner fade to perfection.
- At 3:14 he reads the flat route for the running back, breaks on the play, shedding the block and taking a beautiful track for a tackle for loss. There is another example of his vision and breaking speed at 3:22 and of his great block shedding at 4:46.
- At 3:55 we get a good look at his open field tackling, and I especially like his track and footwork leading up to the hit. He chooses a side and takes away the cutback lane and does a good job of securing the tackle and driving his feet.
- Overall, Franklin is a physical and skilled cornerback with great vision and instinct. He doesn't shy away from contact, his footwork is quick and efficient, and his closing speed is top notch. He takes a couple risks on his reads but he doesn't make many mistakes on his fundaments i.e. tackling tracks, footwork, and ball skills. He will need time to adjust to the speed and strength commonplace at the Division I level, but he has the physical tool kit necessary to make that adjustment quickly.