Rebel Walk Recruiting: A visit with DL Kamarion Franklin, the No. 1 Class of 2024 player in Mississippi
OXFORD, Miss. — As billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson often says, “Sometimes the best answer is staring you in the face.” That’s certainly the case for Ole Miss football when it comes to the state’s No. 1 recruit in the class of 2024, defensive lineman Kamarion Franklin, who lives a mere 80 miles away from Oxford.
August has come and gone, and the Rebels are just days away from their season opener against Troy at Vaught-Hemingway. But for many high school athletes across the country, their seasons are in full swing and today’s September 1st date on the recruiting calendar couldn’t come soon enough — especially for the Class of 2024 players.
Head Coach Lane Kiffin and staff have found great success going beyond the state, but you can be sure they are not forgetting the talent that lies in their own backyard, talent like Franklin.
Franklin made an unofficial visit to Ole Miss on January 29, 2022. We caught up with him after his trip to Oxford and got his thoughts on the Rebels.
“Ain’t this what they’ve been waitin’ for?
You ready? Uh, uh…
I used to pray for times like this, to rhyme like this
So I had to grind like that to shine like this…”
(Lyrics from ‘Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill)
Under the lights on Friday nights, those lyrics are running through Kamarion’s headphones. The title ‘Dreams and Nightmares’ seems appropriate when you think about the 6-foot-5, 250-pound head hunter. Already deemed a 5-star by the 247Sports Composite Index, Franklin is a defensive coach’s dream — but an opposing offense’s worst nightmare.
He currently boasts over 20 offers from schools including: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Miami (OH), Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, A&M, Alabama State, and Austin Peay.
Franklin currently sits at the No. 30 overall athlete in the entire class of 2024, No. 4 for defensive linemen DL and No.1 in his home state of Mississippi.
He and his Lake Cormorant Gators opened their season against Lewisburg (Olive Branch) this past week, falling 26-21 in a close game. Franklin notched 5 sacks, a touchdown, fumble recovery and seven (yes, seven!) QB pressures.
The Gators will travel to DeSoto Central (0-1) this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a non-district matchup. So if you’re out that way, make sure to stop in and see for yourself.
Another Gator to watch is 2025 ATH Jarcoby Hopson.
— Kamarion Franklin (@KamarionFrankl1) August 30, 2022
A visit with Kamarion Franklin
We recently had a chance to catch up with Kamarion to talk about his season and his recruiting plans.
RW: How did it feel to get back to football under the lights and be back with you team?
Franklin: It feels great going back out and playing with and for my team.
RW: You are already not just one of the most elite athletes in the state of Mississippi but in the country. However, there is always work to be done. What is your biggest goal this season?
Franklin: I have 2 goals this season, and that’s to help my team go to state and win. My individual goal is to break the sack record at my school.
RW: What is the biggest obstacle you feel like you face this season?
Franklin: I am not sure what my biggest obstacle will be.
RW: What is your biggest x-factor skillset that sometimes goes overlooked?
Franklin: My run game is overlooked by everybody.
RW: What is your jam to get you hyped before you take the field?
Franklin: Dreams and nightmares
RW: Any advice for other recruits on staying focused and balancing team with recruiting?
Franklin: My advice is don’t let it overwhelm you; everything will play out, so just enjoy the process.
The Quick Scout
Kamarion Franklin’s talent will knock your socks off because he is just so exciting to watch. And although he’s a five-star who is receiving a ton of attention, he is as humble as if he had no stars.
His athleticism is unquestionable, and the dual-sport star also plays basketball. Last season he averaged 6.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game. Whether he’s on the gridiron or on the court, he is electric to watch.
Watching his film against Lewisburg from August 26, here are few takeaways.
— Kamarion Franklin (@KamarionFrankl1) August 27, 2022
Franklin is the ideal prototype of a defensive powerhouse; he plays the outside close to perfectly. He can keep his lane and knows how to push the play to the middle.
His playmaking ability reinforces the extremely high football IQ he has already. He brings power and he’s going to get it done. Even being double-teamed, he still manages to summon his power and push through to get the sack. He’s a hard-hitting defensive lineman who knows just how to dissect an offense enough to cause problems on every play.
Check out my Highlights From Week 1- Must Watch! @nester_nick @coach_leeclark @LCHSGoGators https://t.co/h5U21ZEM8q
— Kamarion Franklin (@KamarionFrankl1) August 27, 2022
The time has arrived for the class of 2024s, and you can bet Franklin is a talent to watch!
I had a great Visit today at Ole Miss🔥Appreciate y’all for having me and the guys @LetsGo_Bo5 @Lane_Kiffin @_kbolden pic.twitter.com/GNJbAWxHnj
— Kamarion Franklin (@KamarionFrankl1) July 30, 2022
Hope to see Kamarion back in Oxford soon!
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss; Graphic: Lee Ann Herring, The Rebel Walk)
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.