Liberty-Eylau’s Franklin Smith II Commits To Alcorn State
The first Division I offer turned out to be the best for Liberty-Eylau offensive tackle Franklin Smith II.
Alcorn State reached out to the tackle in May and got a bite back Sunday evening in the form of a verbal commitment. Smith announced his decision through his personal Twitter account.
The Braves program, which won Smith (6-3, 275) in favor of Texas Southern and Arkansas Tech, is currently 1-2 under first-year coach Fred McNair through three Southwestern Athletic Conference games. It will hop out of league play Saturday to face Arkansas of the Southeastern Conference.
Alcorn State won the SWAC title a season ago with a 9-3 record and was rewarded with an appearance in the Celebration Bowl, which also is known as the Historically Black Colleges and Universities' national championship game. North Carolina A&T edged the Braves by a touchdown in the bowl game.
With the Celebration Bowl in place, SWAC teams as well as Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference forfeit consideration for berths in the FCS playoffs.
Alcorn State has won at least one SWAC title in each decade since the 1940s. Its teams in the 1960s and 1970s were particularly strong with eight conference championship wins in 20 seasons.
Another impressive run may be underway, if the Braves can break their two-game conference losing skid against Alabama A&M in two weeks. In addition to its SWAC title last year, it won the league in 2014.
Smith and Liberty-Eylau earned their first win of the season last week against Pleasant Grove and now own a record of 1-4. Losses came against Atlanta, Carthage, Gilmer and Class 5A opponent Texas High.
Carthage and Gilmer are ranked in the Associated Press' state wide Class 4A poll. Texas High is ranked in the 5A poll.
Smith helped Liberty-Eylau to Class 4A Division I, Region II championship game appearances in each of the past two seasons. The 2014 team, like this squad, began the year 1-4.
Like all high school football players currently in their senior year, Smith will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him in February.