One of the top remaining players in the transfer portal is headed to the SEC.
Zakhari Franklin, the all-time leading receiver in UTSA history, announced Saturday that he will play his final season at Ole Miss. Franklin emerged as one of the best receivers in the country over his last 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 in all of FBS. His 15 touchdowns tied for second in the nation. That came on the heels of Franklin’s 2021 season when he compiled 81 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 scores.
Over his four seasons at UTSA, Franklin totaled 262 catches for 3,348 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Franklin put his name into the portal April 28, just a few days before the deadline for undergraduate players to transfer and be eligible for the 2023 season. A little more than a month later, Franklin has found a new home in Oxford.
— 💤 (@ZakhariFranklin) June 3, 2023
It’s been another transfer-heavy offseason for Lane Kiffin’s program. In addition to Franklin, the Rebels 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 slew of new faces on defense.
Specifically at receiver, Franklin and Harris are expected to have big roles following the departures of Jonathan Mingo and Malik Heath to the NFL. Ole Miss previously landed a commitment from Texas A&M transfer Chris Marshall, but he was dismissed from the team last month. Ole Miss also had a commitment from ex-Jackson State receiver Shane Hooks, but he backed off that pledge and switched 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 final six, including the Egg Bowl to rival Mississippi State and the Texas Bowl to Texas Tech.
Kiffin has a 23-13 overall record with a 14-11 mark in SEC play during his three seasons with the program. Back in November, Kiffin was heavily pursued by Auburn but he decided to remain with the Rebels.