Texas Southern Offers Liberty-Eylau Offensive Lineman Franklin Smith II
Texas Southern has hopped into the chase for Franklin Smith II, extending the senior Liberty-Eylau offensive lineman his second overall Division I football scholarship opportunity.
Smith reported the news to ETSN.fm Saturday evening.
Smith (6-3, 267) was part of a prolific Liberty-Eylau offense last season. He helped former quarterback Ke’Mon Freeman, who is now on the SMU football roster, pass for 3,305 yards and rush for another 1,838 yards en route to a Class 4A Division I state quarterfinals appearance.
Liberty-Eylau’s offensive line also paved the way for a second 1,000-yard rusher in now-graduated running back Lamont Byrd through its 14-game season.
Not only is Texas Southern the second Division I school to express interest in Smith, it’s the second from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Alcorn State, the league’s defending champion, offered the lineman in May.
The Tigers’ 2015 campaign played out much differently than Alcorn State’s. They posted a 3-7 overall record and won just two SWAC games.
That marked the end of Darrell Asberry’s four-year stint with the school. Texas Southern bought him out and turned to Michael Haywood in December.
Haywood most recently was the head coach at Miami of Ohio. He turned a 1-11 team his first season in 2010 into a 9-4 squad the following year.
Haywood jumped from Miami of Ohio to Pittsburgh after the 2010 season, but he never coached a game. He was fired by Pittsburgh after being arrested on a domestic abuse charge and the job subsequently went to Todd Graham.
Texas Southern’s football program offers some unique strengths, particularly against other FCS schools.
The main campus is situated in Houston and benefits from amenities the nation’s fourth-biggest city offers.
The Tigers share a professional caliber stadium with the Houston Dynamo club of Major League Soccer — BBVA Compass Stadium.
Maybe most notably, all Texas Southern home football games are aired live by ROOT Sports Southwest.
Smith, like all high school football prospects entering their senior year, will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in February.