LB Franklin first on defense for Syracuse

On Sunday, the Syracuse Orange picked up their first defensive pledge for this recruiting class in linebacker Zaire Franklin (Philadelphia/La Salle College), multiple sources report.

"A lot of schools like to classify themselves as a school on the rise," Franklin told the Post-Standard. "I think to a point that's true, but I feel like coming off a share of the Big East championship, going to the ACC, Syracuse is moving in completely the right direction, especially under that coaching staff."

Franklin continued, "Being around the team, they wanna win. They're not satisfied with being a part of the ACC; they wanna win the ACC."

Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Temple, Tulane and Villanova were Franklin's other scholarship offers. Boston College, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, West Virginia and Wisconsin also recruited the 6-foot-1, 215-pound prospect.

Syracuse now has three commitments. Four-star dual-threat quarterback A.J. Long (Lebanon, Tenn./Friendship Christian) and three-star running back Naesean Howard (Camillus, N.Y./West Genesse) announced for the Orange in March. Franklin's grade and evaluation will be released with the next rankings update.