UofL Football Lands Commitment From 3 Star GA LB Khatavian Franks

Khatavian Franks
Photo Courtesy of @khatavian_4 Twitter Account

UofL Football recruiting has really picked up steam lately. Now it’s chugging along as the Cards picked up a commit from 3 Star GA LB Khatavian Franks.

The 6’2 200 lbs Franks plays Creekside High School in Fairburn, GA. He chose UofL over offers from Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Boston College, USF, and Wake Forest, among many others. UofL DC Bryan Brown was the primary recruiter for Franks according to 247sports.

I reviewed Franks Hudl highlights and he is a beast. The very first thing I noticed is Franks possesses quite a bit of speed and he can accelerate quickly. Franks displays the patience to let a play develop and he has great field vision to see the play develop. He is a sure tackler, a big hitter, and a player that will try to create turnovers. The final thing I noticed is that he can play some coverage which should allow him to be a 3 down LB.

Now that I’ve given a broad overview, let’s delve a little deeper into Khatavian Franks’ skills.

Speed/Acceleration

Franks is very fast for a player his size. He accelerates quickly as well. He times the snap well and shoots quickly at the line. Often times, he catches blockers still in their stance. Pass rushing and blitzing is a specialty for Franks due in part to his speed and acceleration. Many of his highlights feature him blitzing up the middle and sacking the QB or beating the OT on the edge and sacking the QB.

Another benefit of his speed is it should allow him to play some coverage as he will be able to use his speed to close quickly on WRs or TEs and make plays. He’s a guy that will be able to chase down guys even when the play is away from him.

He is strong enough to shed blocks, but he rarely is seen doing so in his highlights because he’s just so quick and fast that he avoids getting touched entirely.

Patience and Vision

Franks is extremely patient in allowing plays to develop and he has the vision to see where a hole is developing for a RB. It’s almost like he’s a RB in regards to this ability. Once he sees the hole, Franks attacks it and by the time the running back is hitting the hole Franks is there to make the tackle. Numerous times on his highlights this can be seen. It’s truly a gift that should allow him to pile up tackles for loss and stymie ACC RBs. He’s also very good at sniffing out screens and stuffing them. His patience and vision are two other reasons why he is able to avoid blocks entirely.

Tackling/Hitting/Forcing Turnovers

Franks is a ferocious hitter, but also a sure tackler. Once he gets his hands on a ball carrier they are going to the ground. He breaks down beautifully, wraps up with two hands, and drives them into the ground. A few times we see him just blast guys. He just obliterates them. In one highlight, he lights up a QB, absolutely pops him, and forces a fumble. It was actually a form tackle, but he puts some major energy behind it. In another highlight, he is able to strip the ball carrier. His hitting ability coupled with his speed will allow him to have a chance to cause many more fumbles.

Pursuit Angles and Coverage

When pursuing a ball carrier, Franks always seems to take the right angle. He’s always in good position and, therefore, never gets outrun and never gets beat. He is intuitive in his ability to know where to go in order to intercept a ball carrier. In one play, he’s coming across the field to stop a runner going up the sideline. If he takes the wrong angle, it’s a TD. He takes the perfect angle, cuts off the runner, hits him wicked hard, and sends him flying out of bounds.

There are a couple of highlights of Franks in coverage. In the first one, it appears he’s in man coverage. He didn’t have to do much as the play went to the opposite side of the field. However, I loved the fact he was poised to pounce on the WR if the ball was thrown his way. He was in position to either blast him or possibly jump the route and make a play on the ball.

The other coverage play he appears to be in man again. However, he reads the QBs eyes and is able to break off his primary coverage and make an interception.

Franks is a player you can use as a standup edge rusher or a blitzer up the middle. He doesn’t have pass rush moves, he just has speed, acceleration, and good get off the snap. Eventually, I could see him developing some pass rush moves to really make him more dangerous on the college level. Franks is a defensive playmaker that’s very patient He can see plays develop and know what to do and where to go. Franks likely can be used effectively in coverage, maybe moreso than his high school highlights show. When Franks makes tackles, they are good form tackles. However, the speed with which he hits makes the tackle powerful. He will cause some turnovers with his vicious hits.

Bryan Brown and Scott Satterfield got themselves a playmaking LB. He will wreak havoc in the backfield, getting sacks and tackles for loss. He can be used in coverage due to his speed and his vision. He can become a player the other team schemes for because he’s so disruptive. Excellent pickup for UofL.

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