In God, Family and Football — He Trusts

By Kristene Kelly
Updated: September 16, 2008

CHARLOTTE— When Jeremy Franklin was a senior at Lyman High School in Longwood, Florida, he dreamed of playing college football. Well, not really. He actually rekindled his love for the game in 2005, his senior year. Jeremy played Pop Warner football, but after reaching the age limit in eighth grade, he decided to just be a regular student.

Three years later, Jeremy has established himself as a team leader and wants to help the Johnson C. Smith University team be successful. He chose JCSU after being recruited by University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University, but his grades kept him from going to those schools.

He ended up at JCSU after giving his highlight film to Albert Nelson, a graduate of JCSU who knew McNeill and sent the tape along.

“After looking at the film, we saw his speed and potential”, said head coach Daryl C. McNeill, Sr.” “We saw Slim returning kick-offs and the rest is history.”

His freshman year, Jeremy ran into a roadblock (grades) that kept him from competing in 2006. That experience helped him grow up, he says. “My parents always pray for me. I don’t want to let my people down.”

“I am the first one to graduate high school and the first one to go to an out of state college or university in my family. I don’t want to let anyone down with their high expectations of me”.

Last season as a red-shirt freshman, Jeremy played in all 10 games, was named Daktronics All-Southeast Region 2nd Team, CIAA Offensive Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie, 1st Team All-CIAA, a three-time CIAA Receiver of the Week and the list goes on, all at a surprise to Franklin.

“I didn’t really know about being All-CIAA. I just thought they recorded stats. I wasn’t really pushed to get those accolades. I knew I was good, the accolades came surprisingly, but my talent didn’t come surprisingly.”

One of his biggest accomplishments didn’t come on the field or in the classroom, it came within himself. Jeremy learned how to trust people. “It is hard for me to trust people other than people in my family.”

“Growing up, I always had my own family and really didn’t have too many friends. I really didn’t trust the people I hung out with. Coach McNeill is my closest friend on campus. On the field, Markus Gray, Devin Story, Cory Carter are very good friends as well”.

Franklin comes from a large family, four brothers and one sister. He is the second oldest and wants to be an inspiration to them. His family is very supportive.

Last year, at the CIAA football banquet, Jeremy’s entire family came to watch their son, grandson, great grandson and brother receive numerous awards from the conference.

This season, the entire clan all had on No. 80 jerseys when JCSU took on North Carolina A&T State University earlier this season.


Favorite Food:My mother’s Shepherd’s Pie

Dessert:Nothing, I love oranges


Zodiac Sign:Gemini

NFL Team:San Diego Chargers

Movie:Any Given Sunday

Car:Grand Marquis

Quote:Great great great grandmother Ruby Lee, who is still alive at 96 years old: “Keep on, Keeping On”

Interesting fact about you that no one knows:Five members of my family are all named Sherman Franklin.

Sherman Franklin, Sr. – Great Grandfather

Sherman Franklin, Jr. – Grandfather

Sherman Franklin, III – Dad

Sherman Franklin, IV – Brother

Sherman Franklin, V – Nephew