We've hit No. 10 on our countdown of the Top 60 players at Miami. And what better guy to kickoff the final stage of our list than junior offensive lineman Orlando Franklin? Next to Allen Bailey, Franklin is probably the most physically imposing guy on the team. The big, surly Jamaican has always had the physical gifts to succeed at Miami. He just usually hasn't had the stamina to remain effective for four quarters. Will he be that devoted on the field leader in 2009 now that he's lost some weight and the Canes desperately need him to be? We'll see.
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '06: Most people forget (I did), but Franklin was originally a member of UM's 2006 signing class. Because of an academic situation, he didn't get into UM until 2007. Originally from Jamaica, Franklin moved to South Florida from Canada as a high school junior and became an instant star at Delray Beach Atlantic High. He was rated the country's 23rd best offenisve tackle by Rivals .com and picked UM over Georgia, Florida and Florida State.
> What he's done as a Cane: Franklin played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2007 and started three times at left guard, eventually sharing the team's Rookie of the Year Award with Graig Cooper after grading out at 95 percent with 27 pancake blocks. Last year as a sophomore, he started 11 of 13 UM's 13 games at left guard, regaining his starting job after losing it momentarily. This spring, he saw some action at right tackle during practices, but started at left guard in the spring game. In testing, he lifted 375 pounds in the bench press -- seventh best on the team (2nd among OL).
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: Franklin expects more from himself in 2009. So does everyone else. What we saw last week during a press conference in the Edgerrin James room on UM's campus was a slimmer, more focused version of Franklin, who has lost 17 pounds from the start of last season and is now 6-7, 318. That should help him stay in the game longer than he did last year, when (even though he was playing in a rotation) Franklin often tired by the fourth quarter. The Hurricanes are going to need him to be more of an iron man with the lack of depth and experience on this team. What I don't expect at this point is to ever see Franklin at right tackle. Miami coaches have said they want to keep the left side of the line "intact." Can't blame them -- that's Jacory Harris' blindside. If Franklin stays healthy, he and left tackle Jason Fox should have an extremely productive year. If not, UM's line could be in a heap of trouble.