Profiles In Terpage – A Countdown To The Football Season: Eric Franklin


A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.

Today we profile a player who, with Kenny Tate, tied for the most interceptions in 2010 by a returning Maryland player. Yes, really.

Eric Franklin, Junior, Free Safety


Height: 6’2″

Weight: 205

Ratings: Two stars by Rivals; two stars and #113 safety by Scout; two stars and #136 safety by ESPN, #26 free safety in 2013 Draft Class by NflDraftScout

40-yard dash time: 4.6

High School Stats (senior year): Approximately 80 tackles and seven interceptions, 13 catches and three touchdowns

High School Stats (junior year): 99 tackles, nine pass breakups and six interceptions, 13 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns

High School Stats (sophomore year): 68 tackles, six pass breakups and three interceptions, eight catches for 198 yards

College Stats (through two seasons): 24 tackles (10 solo), three interceptions, one sack

High School: Archbishop Curley High School (Baltimore, Md.)

How’d He Get To College Park?

The similarities in the backgrounds of Franklin and co-starting safety Matt Robinson are uncanny. Both were safeties/tight ends who also played linebacker and were ranked extremely unfavorably by all of the recruiting sites. As soon as they got on campus, however, they impressed the coaches, played in their first year on campus, and are now the starting safeties for Maryland. It’s not quite an Andrew Gonnella story (we’ll get to that eventually), but it’s good to see these guys succeed.

In terms of Franklin specifically, he was a straight-A student at Curley, was the captain of their defense, and even essentially took over the role of defensive coordinator in their game against Archbishop Spalding in 2009 because assistant coach Warren Schwartz had a family issue.

Despite all these accolades, his statistics, and his frame, Maryland and Virginia were the only major programs that showed a real interest. He ended up choosing the hometown school over Akron and Richmond.


Eric “Old Spice” Franklin

Career Highlight:

Any of those three interceptions. He had a one-handed grab, one he returned for 31 yards, one he returned for 26 yards, and one in the Military Bowl.

Career Lowlight:

Burning his redshirt to only play in five games his first year as a reserve defensive back and special teamer. That was one of a series of redshirt burnings that year by Ralph Friedgen caused by a combination of boneheaded decisions and injuries.

Arbitrary Top Five List:

Old Spice Man Commercials:

1 – I’m on a horse

2 – Swan Dive

3 – Komodo

4 – Scent vacation

5 – Mustache

Dream season:

Franklin builds on his strong finish to last season, as the safety “Thunder” and “Lightning” combo of him and Robinson proves to be one of the more fearsome in the conference. He picks off at least three passes and fills in admirably for Kenny Tate (now at linebacker).

Nightmare season:

Franklin loses his starting job to Titus Till, and returns to his status as a freshman – backup secondary player who contributes on special teams.

2011 prospectus:

I’ve got to say it, I’m really high on Eric Franklin. He’s a great story who has overcome a lot of doubt in his career, but he’s undoubtedly talented as a ball-hawking free safety. There’s no doubt in my mind that the coaches’ confidence in him was a factor in the decision to move Tate down to the STAR position, and I’m excited to see what he and Robinson can do together. As I’ve said before, they remind me of an inexperienced and lesser-hyped version of Tate and Antwine Perez: you’ve got one guy who’s great in coverage and is still a good athlete and another who’s a freak of nature athletically and has coverage skills to boot. Franklin will have a lot of pressure with the young Till ready to take the job, but I think he’ll be able to hold him off and have a successful year.

Up Next:

Our next player, the last among the defensive backs, has a brother who played safety at Texas-Southern.