Syracuse Orange middle linebacker Zaire Franklin was named to the list of 30 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award on Thursday. The honor acknowledges the top FBS senior with notable achievements of excellence in community, classroom, character and competition.
Franklin is currently in the midst of his third full season as SU’s starting middle linebacker, and is likely to receive his third straight captain designation at the end of the year too. As a dual major at the Whitman School of Management, he’s made the All-ACC Academic team (2014) and the SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll three times.
Off the field, he’s been a member of the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a president of Omega Pi Phi, and he’s an active member of Uplifting Athletes.
So far this season, he’s second on the team in tackles with 33, and has two tackles for loss. He’s been a force in the renewed pass rush for the Orange, and seems he could be on his way to a second straight season of 100-plus tackles. He’s currently on the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the 2018 Senior Bowl.
The Senior CLASS Award will be narrowed down to 10 finalists later this season, and then voted on by coaches, fans and athletes. Winners are announced in early January.
Congrats to Zaire for yet another honor! A fitting conclusion for the long-time ambassador for the program and potential future pro.