Clifton Franklin is one of the best players from the Waldorf, MD area in the Class of 2025.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Franklin, who attends Mattawoman Middle School, is a dynamic player that works as a quarterback.
Franklin has earned plenty of recognition during his career, such as winning the Nick Saban Outstanding QB Award and NextGen The Show QB MVP, as well as being an Under Armor Middle School All American and getting invited to VI & The Show.
Franklin is humbled by the accolades.
“They mean a lot because it is a reward for all the hard work that you are putting in. When you are invited to an invitation only camps and elite camps that is where you get a chance to showcase your talent,” Franklin said. “It is a good experience because you get to meet different guys from different states and you are able to compete with them or you are able to play alongside them. Getting instruction from different coaches is good as well because it tells how coachable you really are. The wisdom as well is great. It is so much talent out here and seeing where you stand and how you fit in is very important.”
Franklin has been selected for the following camps: FBU, UA Middle School Camp, Future 4, as well as various college, high school, and quarterback camps.
In one game last season, Franklin threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown.
No matter the opponent, every game Franklin is determined to give it his all.
Franklin is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Franklin steps between the lines.
“I'm very focused and determined,” Franklin said. “When I am being trained, I am very zoned in and soaking up what I am taught. I am out there to do a job and help my team win.”
Franklin has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the field. Franklin tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.
“The teamwork, comradery, and the accolades. I enjoy the challenges that each game presents. The game is so unpredictable and exciting. It is an adrenaline rush,” Franklin said. “I love being out on the field as a signal caller and leading my team. I enjoy pushing my teammates and when we are in the huddle pumping them up to keep going.”
Franklin has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.
“I’ve learned you can't give up,” Franklin said. “You have to keep going no matter what obstacles you face.”
Franklin shares his favorite memory of playing football.
“My favorite memory is when my team won a championship in the 6th grade and how my 2 touchdowns won the game,” Franklin said. “We went undefeated the whole season and of course throughout the playoffs. We played together as a team should and we gelled together very well.”
Franklin takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Franklin makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“Being a good teammate is someone who does his part on the field and is a team player. Someone who can motivate others and is looked at as a leader,” Franklin said. “The best advice I give is to keep your head up and I have your back. Work hard and stay determined. You will make it if you stay focused.”
Franklin is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“Every coach I have had the pleasure of playing for has taught me something. They taught me accountability and how being a quarterback, you are held accountable for what goes on the football. They have taught me about leadership and how big of an influence,” Franklin said. “The best advice I’ve gotten is to always be comfortable with being uncomfortable. That has always stuck with me because as a quarterback you are always in uncomfortable situations and you are expected to pull through them.”
Franklin patterns his mentality after this late athlete.
“I look up to Justin Fields,” Franklin said. “I love his game because he makes any throw from anywhere on the field. I like his style of play and how he maneuvers in the pocket and out. He always appears calm and has great leadership abilities.”
Franklin lists social studies as his favorite subject in school.
“I am very interested in history. I enjoy learning about different countries and their cultures,” Franklin said. “Also I enjoy science and how different things and organisms operate.”
Franklin explains his collegiate aspirations.
“My top college choices are Ohio State, Oregon, Florida, USC, Maryland, and Oklahoma,” Franklin said.
Franklin maintains a rigorous schedule to stay sharp.
“I work on my release. Practice my throwing motion and my drops. Play action passing, keeping my shoulder closed, and throwing on the run,” Franklin said. “I have a target net in the backyard that I use to help with my throwing.”
Franklin is striving for greatness in all that he does.
“The one thing I want is a high school championship. That would be the start to my championship regime. To graduate at the top of my class,” Franklin said. “To be one of the top high school prospect quarterbacks in the country and just to always prove that I deserve to be on the field leading my team every Friday.”
Franklin describes what he believes separates himself from the pack.
“My skill-set such as my accuracy and throwing power, being able to get the ball into the hands of my receivers, and understanding what is going on the football. I understand coverages and all that fall under coverages. I dedicate a lot of time to film work as well. It is very important to stay on the grind with film. I grind several days a week with my trainer who guides me and helps keep me on point,” Franklin said. “I am very humble yet confident, and my mother is who keeps me grounded. She always reminds me to stay on course and focused. I'm always ready to learn and I respect my trainers because they are helping me through this process. My team can always count on me when I take the snaps underneath my center. My team can count on me to be my best to help us win. I just love this game and everything that it brings.”
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