After what has been a disappointing couple of weeks for the Colorado State men's basketball team, the program recently received some big-time uplifting news. Stephen Franklin, a 6-foot-5 guard for undefeated and top-ranked Aurora Central, has verbally committed to play for Colorado State in 2008. Franklin is widely regarded as the state of Colorado's top prep prospect.
Stephen Franklin (courtesy, Aurora Sentinel)
AM 950 the Fan reporter, and RamNation.com correspondent, Renaud Notaro spoke Wednesday with Franklin's high school coach Bob Caton to confirm.
"Stephen Franklin has verbally committed to CSU and is very excited about joining the Rams for the '07-'08 season," said Caton, who starred at CSU from 1968-71 and has coached high school basketball locally for more than 30 years. "Stephen is very familiar with CSU and looks forward to staying close to home to play in front of his family and friends. He feels comfortable in Ft. Collins and knows the CSU coaching staff well. His older brother Kelvin played for CSU assistant coach Brian Joyce at NJC (Northeastern Junior College) last year. Knowing coach Joyce helped in his decision."
Earlier this season, Franklin joined the elite ranks by collecting his 1,000th career point scored (January 9), becoming only the second Aurora Central athlete to accomplish such a feat. Mike Jackson also did it in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Franklin is currently averaging 21 points, 4.3 assists, 6.55 rebounds, 4.4 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. During his all-state junior campaign, Franklin averaged 17.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.9 steals last season in a year that saw the Trojans make it to the 5A state semifinal before losing to Cherry Creek.
Franklin originally committed to the University of Colorado as a junior last spring, but backed out on that pledge after Ricardo Patton announced that he would resign after the season.
"Stephen will be the first player at Aurora Central to sign at a Division I
school since 1983," Caton said. "This is tremendous for our school. I think Stephen will make a major empact at CSU. The Rams are getting the best player in Colorado."
Franklin also stars on the football team at Aurora Central, playing wideout and safety. He has said publicly he may be interested in playing both sports in college.
He plays both shooting guard and small forward for the basketball team and has been a starter on varsity all four years. He has been recruited by Utah, UNLV, Washington, Washington State, Purdue, Nevada, and others.