La Salle linebacker Zaire Franklin commits to Syracuse

Posted: June 04, 2013

La Salle's Zaire Franklin, a speedy and hard-hitting junior linebacker, orally committed Sunday afternoon to play football at Syracuse.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder chose the Orange over Temple, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Old Dominion, and Villanova, among others.

"What I liked is that I got a sense from the Syracuse coaches that they needed me instead of just wanting me," Franklin said. "They made it clear how important I was to them."

Franklin visited Syracuse from Thursday to Saturday morning.

"I woke up Sunday and knew this is what I wanted to do," he said. "Everything just felt right about it."

The 16-year-old, who lives near Broad and Ogontz in West Oak Lane, said Temple and Pittsburgh were the runners-up. He called off possible visits to Connecticut and Arizona, which contacted him Wednesday.

Of informing Temple's coaches about his decision, Franklin said: "That was hard. I really liked Temple, spent a lot of time there. But I needed to branch out a little bit. I've been in Philly my whole life. I want to experience something different."

Last season, while helping the Explorers go 12-2 and advance to the PIAA Class AAAA state semifinals, Franklin earned Inquirer second-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania honors. He was a first-team all-Catholic League selection.

Franklin, a three-star prospect according to, said he plans to major in sports management or communications at Syracuse.

Contact Rick O'Brien @ Follow @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at

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