Wisconsin Freshman Fifteen - Jaylan Franklin

Wisconsin Freshman Fifteen - Jaylan Franklin

Football

Wisconsin Freshman Fifteen - Jaylan Franklin

MADISON, Wis. – Back for a ninth season, we seek out the incoming freshmen to find out answers to on-the-field and off-the-field questions to get to know these Badgers better. Asking them 15 questions, we call this segment the Freshman Fifteen.

Originally signed as a tight end prospect, outside linebacker Jaylan Franklin is this week’s feature.

What’s been the hardest part for you adjusting to college life?

Franklin: I think the big challenge is staying focus on the stuff that is right in front of you because there is a lot of stuff that can distract you. There’s a lot of stuff you can do because you are on your own and you make your own decisions. It’s really a rush to grow up, but you have to be mature if you want to be successful. You’ve got to get your stuff together right away and know what’s important.

What has been the big adjustment to playing at a program like Wisconsin and adjusting to this level?

Franklin: I think the challenge is being able to adapt to being a one-sport athlete now, focus strictly on playing football and train all year around. I usually get breaks about now to the next season, but now we are really just now getting into it. It’s going to be a challenge for me to start playing one position and one sport, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be the best decision for me.

How did you prepare your body for fall camp knowing you’d be going against older, more talented players?

Franklin: I had a few trainers, some training me for outside linebacker and some wide receiver. I just went to my track coach to get my endurance and stamina up so I wasn’t out here dying and getting gassed. I wanted to make sure when I got up here I was the most in shape and fastest I could be. I didn’t want to think about strength because I knew that would come with all the workouts we do here.

What do you think your strengths are and what are some areas you are trying to clean up moving forward?

Franklin: Right now I’m trying to get my strength up, get my weight up to handle these big linemen. These guys are all 300 plus and I’m trying to get up to about 235. Being able to get my strength up, I think that my pass rush is the probably the best thing I can do here. I feel like my speed off the edge is better than anybody else’s. Soon enough, it will show.

You originally were announced as a tight end prospect. Tell me about the switch to defense.

Franklin: A few months after I signed I got a called from (Tight End) Coach (Mickey) Turner. He called me and wanted to let me know that they were thinking about switching positions. Trying (outside linebacker) out all summer, when we got to fall camp I really kind of shined in it, so I wanted to stick with it. There’s no turning back now. It was easy at first for me because being listed as an athlete, that’s what I got to do. I play plenty of positions in high school. If I’m asked to play one position and it switches, I’m going to give whatever it takes because I feel I can excel in that position.

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