Sylvia Allen keeps the piece of paper with her most treasured photos and keepsakes at her home in Jamaica. It is the contract she and her son, Broncos right tackle Orlando Franklin, signed 11 years ago, when Franklin was 15. He had just gotten out of jail for the second time and his mother wanted to know if he was going to continue to go down the path he was on. “He was running with the wrong crowd, stealing cars, driving around, driving on main highways at 13,” Allen said Friday. “He was going down a bad road.” Franklin told his mother that he wanted to play football and thought he could earn a college scholarship, but they needed to move from their home in Toronto to the United States, where football is more popular. “I said, ‘let’s put it in writing,’ ” Allen recalled. So she drew up a contract. Franklin promised to concentrate on school and football and stay out of trouble. Allen promised to move him somewhere that he could further his chances of earning a football scholarship. “It was just a commitment to myself and a commitment to my mom that if she would put me in the position to succeed, I wouldn’t get myself in trouble and I’d do the right things I needed to,” Franklin said this week. The family moved to Florida and Franklin ended up with a scholarship to the University of Miami, where he started 39 of 51 games. The Broncos took him in the second round of the 2011 draft and Sunday’s game will be his 54th start for the team — this one in the Super Bowl. “It’s surreal,” Franklin said. “It’s absolutely amazing, where I came from and just to see how much has changed in a 10-year span. This summer, come July, it will be 10 years since I left Toronto, Canada. Just to see how much I’ve been able to accomplish and how different my life is now. When I reflect upon it I just say thank you because it’s a dream come true.” Franklin credits his mother with helping him figure out the path he was on would end badly. He was arrested for the first time at 13 for robbery and his mother bailed him out after one day. When he was arrested again at 15 for robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle, she left in him in jail for 13 weeks. That was when she drew up the contract. “I was a product of my environment at that time of my life,” Franklin said. “I was a big-time follower and my life would have kept on spiraling downhill.” Allen, who lives in Queens in the summer, will be at MetLife Stadium on Sunday to watch her son.
Contract with mom kept Denver’s Orlando Franklin on right path
New York Post | Feb 1