2017 NFL Draft: Zach Franklin, Washburn University

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Justin David Kish: Thank you so much for your time Zach. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself for the fans who are not yet familiar with you?

Zach Franklin: My Name is Zachary Franklin and I was born and raised in Wichita Kansas.  I attended Wichita Northwest High school were I participated in both track and football.  I continued my higher education at Washburn University and received my degree in Legal Studies and also a minor in Criminal Justice.

Justin David Kish: You played your college football career at Washburn University. Tell us about your career at Washburn?  

Zach Franklin: I finished my career at Washburn as 2x All MIAA Cornerback with 109 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 32 pass break ups, 4 interceptions and 803 all-purpose yards.

Justin David Kish: During your time at Washburn you were coached by defensive coordinators Zach Watkins and Brock Luke as well as LaRon Moore. How has the coaching staff at Washburn improved you as a player during your tenure with the team?  

Zach Franklin: The thing they helped me with the most is becoming a smarter football player.  The higher the level of competition you play, the more even the playing field is in terms of physical ability. So the one thing that can really give you an edge is being smart and learning what your opponent likes to do in certain situations.  And that is one thing that they really harped on was film study. 

Justin David Kish: 2016 was a solid year for Washburn as you returned to school to be a starting defensive back. Tell us about your final season at Washburn and what made it so special?   

Zach Franklin: What I think made the season so special is the comradery that we had built.  That offseason we had really focused on being an unselfish player and being all in for the team and I think is one of the main reasons we got out of the slump we had been in.

Justin David Kish: During your tenure at Washburn you faced some of the top schools in division-II such as Lindenwood, Northeastern State and Pittsburg State. When you look back on your college career what was one game that really took you to your limits and brought out the best in you?   

Zach Franklin: When we played Pitt State my junior year.  They were ranked number 3 the nation and we played them at their house in the third game of the season.  The game was sold out, we were in hostile territory, and the underdog.  They knew I liked playing bump and run so all game they attempted to throw the ball deep on me and was unsuccessful. 

Justin David Kish: Being an defensive back you are tasked with covering some of the nations best wide receivers. What was one wide receiver that challenged you?  

Zach Franklin: A receiver named Copelin from Pitt State. 

Justin David Kish: During your time at Washburn you created a number of memories with your brothers on the field. What is one memory that really stands out from the rest?  

Zach Franklin: The Pitt State game I spoke about my junior year.  All week we had preached 60 strong as we went into hostile territory.  We knew they were going to have a packed house but our goal was to see their thousands of fans quiet as our small fan section cheered when the game ended and we succeeded.

Justin David Kish: What does it mean to be a Washburn Ichabods? 

Zach Franklin: To me it means that we are truly student athletes.  We value education just as much as we love to play football and we excel at both.

Justin David Kish: Your focus has now shifted to the 2017 NFL Draft. How are you preparing for upcoming draft events? Who are your training with? 

Zach Franklin: I am preparing in Oklahoma with Coach Newby.

Justin David Kish: When you look at the defensive backs in the 2017 NFL Draft what makes you standout from the rest of the pack?

Zach Franklin: My intelligence. According to the situation and what I am expecting I can disguise what I am doing and play the best technique to combat what they are attempting to do. 

Justin David Kish: What are some of your strength’s and weakness’s?   

Zach Franklin: I think some of my strengths are that I am long and can run.  I enjoy playing bump and run and those two things really help me with that.   I am also really intelligent so when I line up I already have an idea of what I am looking for. A big weakness is that I am too aggressive at times so I will sit on routes and put myself in bad positions. 

Justin David Kish: When you watch game film what are some things you are looking out for?

Zach Franklin: First I determine whether this is a short pass or long pass team.  Then I look at what each receiver does when he is given different leverages.  If they have tendencies when running the routes or rise during their breaks.  I check to see if they don’t like being touched and can consistently create space in press coverage.  I also check if their route changes depending on what you give them.  When I don’t look at receivers I study the quarterback and sees if he likes a certain side or receiver.

Justin David Kish:  In the next couple of questions I am going to put you on the spot. If you could compare yourself to any current professional football defensive back who would you compare yourself to and why?

Zach Franklin: Prime Darrelle Revis. He is a silent assassin on the field. You don’t see him really talk trash or do any theatrics, he just lines up and does his job each play. 

Justin David Kish: My final question. If I was an NFL General Manager why should I draft Zach Franklin?

Zach Franklin: I will not be outworked. The beautiful thing about football is that you only have a limited number of opportunities to actually play the game and it won’t be cheated. You only get out what you put in and for that reason you have to love the process.  The running, the lifting, the months of preparation and getting better every day knowing that you are among the few in this world that get to play this game. Then if you are from a small school like myself you have to work that much harder just to get noticed. Already knowing that once you get noticed, they are going to question your level of competition. But football is football and one thing that they won’t be able to question is my work ethic.

Justin David Kish: Thank you so much for your time Zach. Where can the fans get in contact with you? Where are you on social media?

Zach Franklin: Instagram and Twitter-@Thezachfranklin.

Random 5 with Zach Franklin

Do you have any guilty pleasures? No.

What is one embarrassing song your Ipod? Single Ladies by Beyonce.

Who do you think is the 2016 NFL MVP? Tom Brady.

Do you have any pre-game rituals? I eat Reeses before every game and listen to music.

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why? Telekinesis. Moving things with your mind is just something I was always interested in. 

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