One of the best remaining players on the transfer portal is heading to the SEC.
Zakhari Franklin, the all-time leading receiver in UTSA history, announced on Saturday that he will be playing his final season at Ole Miss. Franklin became one of the nation’s top receivers in his final two seasons with the Roadrunners.
In 2022, Franklin caught 93 passes for 1,137 yards and 15 touchdowns. Franklin’s 93 receptions were seventh most of all FBS. His 15 touchdowns are tied for second in the nation. This follows Franklin’s 2021 season when he compiled 81 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 scores.
During his four seasons at UTSA, Franklin had 262 catches for 3,348 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Franklin listed his name on the portal on April 28, just days before the transfer deadline for undergraduate and eligible players for the 2023 season. Just over a month later, Franklin found a new home in Oxford.
It’s been another transfer-heavy offseason for Lane Kiffin’s program. In addition to Franklin, the Rebels have added quarterbacks Spencer Sanders (Oklahoma State) and Walker Howard (LSU), wide receiver Tre Harris (Louisiana Tech) and tight end Caden Prieskorn (Memphis) on offense, as well as a multitude of new faces on defense.
Specifically at receiver, Franklin and Harris should have big roles following the departures of Jonathan Mingo and Malik Heath to the NFL. Ole Miss had previously landed a commitment from Texas A&M transfer Chris Marshall, but he was fired from the team last month. Ole Miss also had a commitment from former Jackson State wide receiver Shane Hooks, but he waived that commitment and transferred his commitment to Auburn on May 21.
Ole Miss is coming off an 8-5 record in 2022. The Rebels started the year 7-0 before losing five of their last six, including the Egg Bowl to rival Mississippi State and Texas Bowl vs. Texas Tech.
Kiffin is 23-13 overall with a 14-11 mark in SEC play during his three seasons with the program. In November, Kiffin was heavily pursued by Auburn but he decided to stay with the Rebels.