Carlos Franklin
Class of 2023

Carlos Franklin

Former Athens High School football star Carlos Franklin knew when it was time to get down to business on Friday nights when heard the “Pride of Athens” Eagle Marching band start playing.

When Franklin was on the field stretching with his teammates prior to a game, one of his assistant coaches would remind him of the business at hand. “Coach (Barry) Hamilton would come over and tell me, do you hear the drums Carlos,” joked Franklin. “When he told me that, it was showtime.”

The dynamic playmaker wouldn’t disappoint. A threat to score a touchdown when he touched the football, Franklin averaged an astounding 15.7 yards when the football was in his hands during his senior season. He scored touchdowns by pass receiving, rushing, kickoff return, punt return and interceptions. Franklin’s play helped the Golden Eagles win a combine 22 games during his junior and senior seasons.

“I have a lot of fond memories of the two years I played for Athens High School. I had great teammates and we made it to the second round of the playoffs each season,” said Franklin.

Once the word got out with opposing coach’s about Franklin’s big play ability, AHS opponents did everything they could to keep the ball out of his hands. They would scheme ways of taking his production out of the game. “Teams tried to kick the ball away from me. I would see where they were trying to kick the ball and then right when they were about to kick it, I would run over there to field the ball. I remember one time when we were playing Sparkman and it was raining like cats and dogs. Coach (Garner) Ezell told me not to field any kickoffs because of the slick ball. Well, they kicked off and I ran over to the hash mark, fielded the kick and the middle of the field parted like the Red Sea and I took it back 95 yards for a touchdown,” recalled Franklin.

Franklin’s AHS career would earn him numerous individual honors. As a junior, he was named Honorable Mention All-State. But, it was after his senior season is when the floodgate opened with accolades. He was named to the prestigious Alabama Super 12 Team while earning 5A Player of the Year honors. Franklin was chosen to play in the inaugural Alabama/Mississippi High School All Star game. He would sign to play football with the University of North Alabama. He played two years for Coach Bobby Wallace and the Lions.

One of Franklin’s former AHS teammates and long-time friend Bryant Malone says Franklin’s high school statistics could have been greater had it not been for the Golden Eagles dominating their opponents. “Our senior season, most of our games were over by the middle of the third quarter. Had Carlos played four quarters of games, there is no telling what his numbers would have been. It didn’t matter where the football was on the field. Carlos could score from five yards or 95 yards. He was such an explosive player,” said Malone.

Franklin says being inducted into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame is a great honor. “It is great to be in a hall of fame with family and people I looked up to. My uncle Lewis Coger is a member. When I was a kid growing up in Athens, I looked up to athletes like Freddie Smith, Adolph Cosby and the whole Parker family. I am looking forward to the induction banquet,” said Franklin.